House is an Enigma

House is an Enigma

by Emma Bolden
House is an Enigma

House is an Enigma

by Emma Bolden


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House is an Enigma is an investigation of the language used to house descriptions of the body, which so often seek to define and determine the boundaries and behaviors of the spirit that lives within. Written after Bolden’s radical hysterectomy, during which she noted her doctors’ use of house metaphors to describe her body and discuss her inability to have children, these stunning poems set out to expose the fissures in the foundations of the language we use to define human bodies and their behaviors, using these cracks as a lens through which she can see her own body, at last, as her own flawed but beautiful home.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780997926286
Publisher: Southeast Missouri State Univ Press
Publication date: 10/01/2018
Series: Cowles Poetry Prize Winner
Edition description: None
Pages: 98
Sales rank: 730,782
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Emma Bolden is the author of two books, Malificae and medi(t)ations, and seveal chapbooks. Her poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in Colorado Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Salamander, National Poetry Review, Nimrod, Triquarterly, Fairy Tale Review, Praire Schooner, Cimarron Review, StoryQuarterly, Bellingham Review, DIAGRAM, Monkeybicycle, and Gulf Coast among other venues. Bolden received a 2017 Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment of the Arts.

Table of Contents

An Unmothered Guide to Grief 13

Creation Myth with Language and Angels 14

Pain Serves 15

Because the Body Is a Place Strange Unmapped 16

The First Time After Surgery 17

I Am Writing a Story and You Are Reading It 18

Excavation/Exhibition 19

It Was No More Predictable 20

Let's Talk About the Weather, That's Probably for the Best 21

Melancholy Inside the Body 22

Like a Trick Belonging to the Eye or the Mind 23

House Is an Enigma 24

The Study of Surfaces, the Study of Curves 25

Alma 26

Yes, I Would Like to Imagine the Self 27

Of Blue Morning 28

Hysterectomy/Recovery 29

I Was Told Not to Write About the Body 30

Melancholy Inside Gardens 32

That Cold Snap, April's Last 35

My little apparition, my little ghost 36

Deposition: On That Night & All That Was After 37

After the Beginning 38

The Reports of the Largest Moon in Ten Years 40

Melancholy in Mike Sheroda 41

House Is Writing a Symphony 42

The Talking Cure 43

For the Doctor Who Suggested I Try to Explain How It Feels to Be Barren 44

Melancholy in Definitions 45

Even If You Aren't, House Is Listening 46

Of Flora, Of Fauna 47

The Cities We Love Are the Ones that Are Drowning. 48

Between Sea and Sky 50

The gods have a bullet 55

Because of the House We Have Built for Our Language 56

On the Self-Guided Tour of the Fountain of Youth 57

X 58

Epithalamium 59

The Curse on the Ground 60

Downburst 61

House Is a Mirror 62

The Plight Troth 63

The Coyote Doesn't Have To 64

Shower Season 65

In Every Tale About Hunger 66

Tropes 67

That Night in (the Car & the Inside & Outside & So) 68

I Was a Bad Child & I Was a Match 69

Under Threat of Eden 73

Describe the Situation in Specific Detail 74

Morphine 75

Viscera 76

We Decided to Stop Believing in God 77

The Summer I Wondered Why Dresses Exist 78

House Is the Word My Doctors Used for My Body 79

After Auden 80

Having lived beyond 81

Before I Belived in the Body as Word 82

In the Absence of Desire I Was No Longer Absent 83

House Is a Hoard 84

The Museum of the Body 85

With All the Certainty of Space 86

The Imposition of Ashes 87

The Daughter I Will Never Have 88

Beneath the Highway, Between Two Nights 90

A Breviary 91

The Night Office 92

Beyond Love 93

Acknoweldgements and Notes 95

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