Render

Render

by Sachiko Murakami

NOOK Book(eBook)

$6.99 $7.99 Save 13% Current price is $6.99, Original price is $7.99. You Save 13%.
View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now

Overview

Searing, intimate poems that render a history of trauma, addiction, and recovery through dreams and waking experience.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781551528281
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press, Limited
Publication date: 10/27/2020
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Sachiko Murakami is the author of three previous poetry collections, including The Invisibility Exhibit (shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award). As a literary worker, she has edited poetry, worked for trade organizations, hosted reading series, organized conferences, sat on juries, and judged prizes.

Read an Excerpt

ENCOUNTER

Would you take a look at this
sweat held together
by dream -- the twined
frays of memory&history
twist of language and the form

a breath endures when you wake up

shaken, the fist
of trauma inches from

the hand of the word that would
submerge the Big Idea
in bathwater

when the adults’ argument
drifts apart
a wah-wah trombone
ear canal awash with whoosh of escape

or come back
to the hum of today
where you could almost feel

what he feels, on the neighbour’s porch
scrolling through his phone
checking for updates

on someone else’s disaster

would you wait on the shore
a minute

passing just like my minute

your sea my sea

there are many names for the ocean
where so many swim
frantic to reach the classroom
to take the test
teach the class
find the almost-forgotten child

your anxiety my anxiety
unclimbable towers
fall in a dream
and all structure

burns as memories
burn into sinew

your sinew
my throat
drift apart
particular flotsam fills
our drowned lungs

but none of it happened

the way I remembered
the moment I woke up

exhaling the dream
into your air


MILK NIGHTMARE

Night training: a babe becomes accustomed
to the soothing taste of absence.
That same child grows up
and chooses a safe word: milk.

*

I say, We need milk. Everyone agrees
to my duplicity. I pantomime mouthfuls
of emptiness, one hand on the doorknob.

*

Need seems like the only memory
when it is present. First driving need,
then flat-out more. Hauled
to the brink of nightmare
conclusion, counting seconds.

Need. Need. Need.
Need. Need.

*

Need more.


*

Claw the dream dictionary
looking for citations
of original thirst.

Scrub the carpet’s traces
of spilled milk.

Count every Tuesday you wake up,
thirsty, needful, sore.


DINNER TABLE

In the dream, the set table signals a romantic meal,
some fruitful beginning to some other dinner.
In the memory, it’s the usual setup, the weekday deal:

my place to the right of the father,
overcooked salmon, buttered rice, pitcher of
iced water. Mother missing. Didn’t bother

to mention the part about the dog’s barbiturates,
how much, how little, the hatred of meal prep.
There is a note asking us to consider what

a life means. We haven’t found out yet.
If I knew, would I have stopped the meal, felt
anything enough to hide my mouthfuls of apologies?

Instead, again, I mime drinking my milk
and taste the spray of panic seethe
through limbs like hot piss, stampeding full tilt

through the here and now, twitching beneath
the CBT techniques. I’m here. I’m there. Something’s wrong
with my chosen procedure. Retrieve fork from between teeth,

chew the flat, unreasonable number. Burning panic of two,
left at the table. The dream meant I could learn how to fully feel.
I’ve lost my appetite for this. May I please be excused.


THANATOPHOBIA

Death rides with her in the backseat of the Civic over the Port Mann again, where an easy earthquake could ungird bridge steel, send the family down into the Fraser, the weight of the river more than a little girl could kick against. She holds her breath from Surrey to PoCo.

Death yawns, trying to trigger a sympathetic opening. She grasps at lungful of air like it’s the last thing she’ll ever have.

Despite Death yelling, continually, Boo!

All those knives, drifting in dishwater. Razors in Halloween candy. Broken traffic lights.

Death nudges her chin up to the sky. Acid rain, Soviet bombs, asteroids. Death shows her the size of his hands, which are as big as planets, as thought.

Death squeezes her heart once she learns what a heart is, and how it regularly fails.

Boo! Boo! Boo!
frays of memory&history twist of language and the form a breath endures when you wake up shaken, the fist of trauma inches from the hand of the word that would submerge the Big Idea in bathwater when the adults’ argument drifts apart a wah-wah trombone ear canal awash with whoosh of escape or come back to the hum of today where you could almost feel what he feels, on the neighbour’s porch scrolling through his phone checking for updates on someone else’s disaster would you wait on the shore a minute passing just like my minute your sea my sea there are many names for the ocean where so many swim frantic to reach the classroom to take the test teach the class find the almost-forgotten child your anxiety my anxiety unclimbable towers fall in a dream and all structure burns as memories burn into sinew your sinew my throat drift apart particular flotsam fills our drowned lungs but none of it happened the way I remembered the moment I woke up exhaling the dream into your air

Customer Reviews