June 18, 2017

Panorama, waiting for Kellie (and Anna) at Kellie's Surprise Party...

It was true I always had trouble listening and remembering, trouble hearing people when they explained simple facts to me. When I read, my head seemed to go diagonal, and I swore I saw things in the sentences--not what I was supposed to see. When I read the words "moonlit swim," I saw the moonlight slicked all over the bare skin. The word "sunshine" had a washed look, with the sweep of a rag in the middle of it. The word "violinist" was a fig cut in half. "String quartet" was a cat's cradle held between two hands. "Penniless" was an empty copper outline and "prettiness" seemed to glitter. "Calamity" was alarm bells, and in "aristocrat" there was the sharp triangle of a cravat, and in "sea serpent" one loop of the green muscle. It was as if I could read the surfaces of words, and their real hearts, but not their information. Even "word" had a picture--I saw a blond hostess in a spangled dress turning black and white letters over one by one. When I read, the meaning swam and the images leaped out and the words gave up their doubles. When I wrote, the same thing happened with the paper.
--Patricia Lockwood's "Priestdaddy", memoirs of the poet, taking its name from her father's situation, who via an odd loophole of priestly conversion was a married-with-children Catholic Priest. Funny and sometimes heartbreaking I'd recommend it. I liked this passage, kind of a synesthesia of words.