Kate Eichhorn is the author of Fond (BookThug, 2008) and co-editor of Prismatic Publics: Innovative Canadian Women’s Poetry and Poetics (Coach House Books, 2009). Her new collection of writing, Fieldnotes: a forensic, is forthcoming from BookThug in fall 2010. Her poetry, prose, and criticism are part of a serial investigation of historiography, ethnography, and poetics. She teaches writing and cultural theory at The New School.
Excerpt from Fieldnotes: a forensic
Walking straightforward with buoyancy my legs didn’t tire coming here but my hands hurt quickly. What breaks out of the cuff area, shoulders, thumbs. Hyperextending postures. It’s this deskwork. Stretching case by case the flexion of notes. This index flipping the memory into different lived moments—the giving up, resentment, checkpoints where I grasp myself again. Fieldwork necessarily includes failures in reconstruction. Also excessive pleasures. Confusion. Today it was the expression of an absent field. The women gave me means, not memories or dates. Lower bodies vis-à-vis shoulders. Memories vis-à-vis hips. A network of palms. The inner surfaces of fingers. Viscerally stepping beyond the sway of order, proprioceptive more than visual, I felt the weight of reading these patterns. Monitoring forearms down routes. Distal ends leading toward paths. The gravity of conduct. Contact. A smile or gaze intricately twisted out from an upper torso. Ephemeral cairns. Unreadable. Still in motion I stretch to graph these principles. The density of this telling of subjects, objects, selves, etc. “Eyes looking,” a learnable imitative act, objectivity buckles in the face of these fallible multivocal absences. Today I couldn’t even monitor my own blinking. Loosely described every step felt the length of this entry [ … ]