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ICONIC AUTOBIOGRAPHY


tide. pearl. emerald. sapphire. ruby. sex. meadows. sacred. profane. lyrical. filial. fawn. ochre.

subtle. fairy.

I t’s

lie.

feeling contrite.

jessie gemmer

simply like looking at one’s insanity, but it goes on, just goes on,

prison. despair. conservatory. aviary. moan. nigh.

grove. lair. somber, prowl, architect. hallucinate. drip. blanche.

12. 27. 8. 9. 22. 11. 23. 13. 17. 16.

like a moonstorm made of secret and obscure sorrows.

puddle. mist. creep. lick. brush. lull. seep. plunge. pulse. skull. cashmere. seep.

grove. kiss. temple.

seashell. opal. dew. topaz. brew. blend. suede. grey. bleed. spiral. ember. fingerprint.

brilliant. weep. velvet. gleam. manuscript. document. clasp. revel.

knight errant.

W

1. 14. 25. 20. 6. 7. 26. 21. 5. 15. 24. how lucky we are that our thoughts 2. are private and fleeting picking favorites. 10.

mossy.

D enouement.

v

tower.

H

B

w

The building seemed to be W b u i l tv o f s t o n e . I t s c o l I Ms u m nA s eSe m e d to be deAA signed to support a roof. It looked like some sort of temple... I learned in EG due time that all those impressions were true. Hugh Ferriss (About an image of the Parthenon he received as a child.) yellow. primeval. gloss. disheveled. breeze. eyelash. iris. lilac.

vale.

B A

buccaneer. wind. ricochet. crumple. milky. Lucerne.

I

twine.

cleaning my ears. Life is too strong for you H E W I N D eeping sunlight through layers ofT leaves electricity willows. pulling up dead skin. It takes life to A love Life. Blue Smith Corona typewriter. twisted bronze the way hair floats in biting. water unsolved mysteries my seams. ncidentally, i miss you most cruelly when the air is near fishbowl. two cigar boxes (3). a red cigarette sally mannrushes that blood inside urban legends en media res. being nakedus/ in sunlight. (and they won’t stop blue talking) case (X). red a pair of turquoise snow boots. this the way it spills to the surface maya i deren in the and then think that i running could fall and dark. crush my bones a delicate necklace the fact journal. that people were made sapphire to white lies (X). flannery oconnor curling up in-betweencamera rocks.obscure. drive through the guardrail cry straight when two sad fur stoles (4), two fur jackets. a hand edith wharton gabriela garcia marquez picking fights. lean theinwall until the sudden swing, crash, brain, dark For the moon never beams without theagainst strength wings insane science arn burning leaves of grass 100 years of solitude finished coffee table e(X). t w e e n A robin’s egg bluethe bell woman drewcorrecting hergarcia long black hair out tight sylvia plath bruises. federico lorca other people’s grammar. and then you seem most with me. jaroncatcher ryegrey anna pride prejudice a mug andina the small A fur and coat. A (teacup tkarenina h e )(X). kissing skin skin And fiddled whisperme music on those strings amelia earhart t bringing sthis, eliot dreams getting muddy. i planned e havethe had woman too much consecration, prayerfor for owen meany in the wall the woman in the red silk duvet with abrown A red being Mexican d v a n cdown. e the permanence stars picked And bats withof baby faces in between the violet light virginia woolf fountain ofhave youth. wallace stevens rubbing soap toes. ad Ifor written this last night there would been gin bel i watched bad tidings, as if seconds of preparation too ’m little admiration, floating with themy birds, first wall the wasteland everything that rises must converge dress. One green and one red leather wallet. I do not know which to prefer, ( i n g ) omebody’s butterfly. Ofand beautiful Annabel Lee; ythe hair is their being pulled by the the palm stars Whistled, beat wings mary baker eddy thousand violins in of again. my hand and dip H.D. sleeping infit the blossoms and a bit about feeling the floor buckle no,the reparation, too much: but this, this, this I’m talking to theafternoon. weeds, unintelligible of love presents canto kimble cat’s cradlemrs. a hole in Amrs. tapestry bag. All of my dalloway books. Alike black The language beauty of inflections l i m i t s Lighthouse keeper tilt tilted of the ellipse. lips. And crawled head downward down a blackened wall anne patchett mob mentality. But the weeping is an immense dog, Sylvia Plath sleeping anywhere. us dancing to Chuck Berry. It’s morning now wouldbeneath render me ready for that untamed crag of the first words. has been proved heretical, look what you’ve done to me. the head one flew over thenever eastthree of eden And the stars but I feel steamer trunk with a(cuckoo’s picture of twins alolita, ship inside Or the beauty of innuendoes, wthe e rise ) nest changes in weather Lose way And rand upside down in air were towers ayn the weeping is an immense angel, william carlos williams when conversations take hours. though, and the motel room feels small and known i don’t wantofforgiveness, i would be content -too little: Ifairy know, I feel towith leaves grass killtowels. a mockingbird the origin lid.Theandersen’s Aof grey coverlet, sheets, and blackbird whistling l o fear s to etales the unknown irrational inheritance Nurse you( that back health Tolling reminiscent bells, kept the hours mann forest primaeval the weeping is an immense violin. e the e Cummings touching like any mystery in meaning this space has been bright eyes no. sally the thatforeheads. words hide; opened An antique dresser and two green tea Or just after. t h mirror. e ) hiding napping And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted diane arbus pablo neruda surprises. with the little packaged bar of soap in the yellow tub i wouldn’t. they are always anagrams, cryptograms, rammar, The Wasteland, Flossing, Graph Paper, ugenics, names, things, boxes. Tan lepers, suede ankle (X).dead A red silk l o gboots ibrains, c wells. Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; H.D. that we make music reading through aliens. emily dickinson three beers. found naked – tryinggrey, Nutella, the All Iwhere mean we to sayPens, isourselves little boxes, conditions Thin Words, death rites, party dress my grandmother made children, in China. ([Censored], o lists, f ) hadferal day and prophesy, night tracy dunham telling stories not sure are true fact. to understand history. Because ofDead course it as feels you are very muchfine present. to hatchI’m butterflies... Tall American Fescue, things, Courtlike past sideshows, incest, myths, stockholm syndrome. MyAnd pink lace bra. leather journal. ( night-tide, tMyh ebig ) so, all the Ileeches. lie bike tires in crunchy leaves having questions Anais Nin picking blackheads (anyone’s). lovers press their shape into us and make us something I mean to say answered Baroque pearl set. o My My b j eblue c t s schwinn bike. Rose Valland nearing the edge of hurts too much. different. But really we’re talking about wantingthat thing that i wait through every second down by the side breathing fire remembering lacrosee tweezers (X). Special Blankie. ( t h Patty. a t ) youto forgot babies. cryingtodesperately. go face back cupped, to moonlight, touch test body tube through dress, with your Aigners. Dead things. quill earrings. d ePoquipine f i n e Of my darlingmy darlingmy life bleeding. waking up to snow seven in the press against a shaded brick wall, the band rolling cradled, in the child’s palm of my heart. Rabbit pelt (X). ( yellow t h e ) blown glass from summer homecomings. into the next number. We knock teeth and we’re clumsy; Guatemala. The mayan My m e shirt a n s I never wear. and my bride, eating peaches keeping secrets wings. quick to kiss the finding spot on butterfly the forehead where we slam together. black hats. Red leather b e t w e e nelbow length gloves moss whispering in touching fur. In sepulchre by fur. the sea, alsothe a pair lined (with My amish othere u rabbit r someone’e- ear bats. quilt. Records. My posters from end).mother’s effervescent velvet ribbons joy In her tombtelling by thesecrets. sounding sea. college. Fingers. caroline’s saints. Russell ink on que paper gratitude erde te quiero verde bad makeouts. e have bottles. lingered in Oriental the chambers of the sea Wright. A pink fan. Glass spider webs. cocoons figuring it cold. out on verde viento. verdes how much hot ramas. showersByhurt after being in the sea-girls wreathed with seaweed My succulents, though I red and brown your own rugs in blue and tan. el barco sobre el mar stealing then feeling bad about it. Till human voices wake us, landscape. postcards and we drown. lockets treat them poorly. A tiny sex -2. y el caballo en la montana cold shoulders. and pictures. My friends, my lover, my family. 3.4. hurtling. anywhere best friends 18. 19. powerplays.

ICONIC AUTOBIOGRAPHY

opulent. occident. flame. nightingale. sparrow. dusky. feral. scream. fey. sniper. vengeance. prism.

licking my fingers. marble. marvel. lace. crochet. croquet. strand. rub. groan. shriek. moonlight. gypsy. underwater.

Sons and daughters,

drowse. slate. slick. pulse. juicy. lush. tapestry. skin. flesh. inky. mythic. kill. venom. blue.

grave.

candide.

shiver.

sliver. nascent. gloaming. moonlit. starshine. invisible. cityscape. illume. nap. nestle. nettle.

aspen. birch. seal. otter. mesh.

ashes. dust. cream. whisper. runaway. veil. shadow. ochre. trace. fragment. lavender. mirage. forest.

pearl. etiquette. sigh.

wander. bleeding. suck. mystic. tawny. fable. pierce. pique. umbrage. poche? tithe. gallant.

fertile. echoed. verdant. drift. trembling. dewy. blur. sinewy. voracious. pulsing.

D egenerate


JESSIE GEMMER

Context, Creativity, Consciousness Spring 2011


THE PAST

-2.


THE PRESENT


TEMPERANCE

S omebody’s

butterfly.

Lighthouse keeper Lose the way

Nurse you back to health

1.


THE MYTH

We

have had too much consecration,

too little admiration, too much: but this, this, this has been proved heretical, too little: I know, I feel the meaning that words hide; they are always anagrams, cryptograms, little boxes, conditions to hatch butterflies...

2.


THE DREAM

My

hair is being pulled by the stars again.

3.


THE EMPRESS

For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.

4.


THE MIST

G rammar, Thin

The Wasteland, Flossing, Graph Paper,

Pens,

Words,

[Censored],

grey,

Nutella,

Tall fine American Fescue, Dead things, Court

5.


THE SHADOW

E ugenics,

lepers, names, brains, dead things,

prophesy, death rites, lists, feral children, sideshows, incest, myths, stockholm syndrome.

5.


THE FOOL

A Blue Smith Corona typewriter. twisted bronze fishbowl. two cigar boxes (3). a red cigarette case (X). a pair of turquoise snow boots. this journal.

a

delicate

sapphire

necklace

two fur stoles (4), two fur jackets. finished coffee table (X).

(X).

a hand

A robin’s egg blue

mug and a small grey teacup (X).

A fur coat.

A

red silk duvet with brown down.

A red Mexican

dress. One green and one red leather wallet. A

tapestry

bag.

All

of

my

books.

A

black

steamer trunk with a picture of a ship inside the lid.

A grey coverlet, sheets, and towels.

An antique dresser and mirror.

two green tea

boxes. Tan suede ankle boots (X).

A red silk

party dress my grandmother had made in China. My

pink

lace

bra.

Baroque pearl set.

My

big

leather

journal.

My blue schwinn bike.

lacrosee tweezers (X).

My

Patty. Special Blankie.

Aigners. Dead things. Poquipine quill earrings. Rabbit

pelt

Guatemala.

(X).

yellow

blown

glass

The mayan shirt I never wear.

black hats.

Records.

college. Wright.

My

Red leather elbow length gloves

- also a pair lined with rabbit fur. quilt.

from

My

mother’s

posters

Fingers. caroline’s saints. A pink fan.

rugs in blue and tan.

My amish

Glass bottles.

from

Russell Oriental

My succulents, though I

treat them poorly. A tiny landscape. postcards and pictures. My friends, my lover, my family.

6.


THE SECRET

v

I do not know which to prefer, The beauty of inflections Or the beauty of innuendoes, The blackbird whistling Or just after.

7.


FORTUNE

A

tilted ellipse.

8.


FATE

A

tilt of the lips.

9.


JUSTICE

A

thousand violins fit in the palm of my hand

But the weeping is an immense dog, the weeping is an immense angel, the weeping is an immense violin.

10.


THE PATH

I ncidentally,

i miss you most cruelly when the air is near

(and they won’t stop talking) and then i think that i could fall and crush my bones drive straight through the guardrail lean against the wall until the sudden swing, crash, brain, dark and then you seem most with me. i planned for this, i watched for bad tidings, as if seconds of preparation no, reparation, would render me ready for that untamed crag of the first three words. i don’t want forgiveness, i would be content with -no. i wouldn’t. All I mean to say is you are very much present. I mean to say that i wait through every second with your face cupped, cradled, in the child’s palm of my heart.

11.


THE HANGED MAN

A

woman drew her long black hair out tight

And fiddled whisper music on those strings And bats with baby faces in the violet light Whistled, and beat their wings And crawled head downward down a blackened wall And upside down in air were towers Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.

12.


licking my fingers. cleaning my ears.

THE HIGH PRIESTESS pulling up dead skin. biting. my seams. being naked in sunlight. running in the dark. curling up in-between rocks. picking fights. correcting other people’s grammar. getting muddy. rubbing soap between my toes. sleeping in the afternoon. sleeping anywhere. when conversations take hours. touching foreheads. surprises. three beers. telling stories I’m not sure are true as fact. picking blackheads (anyone’s). nearing the edge of hurts too much. crying desperately. bleeding. homecomings. finding butterfly wings. touching fur. bats. telling secrets. bad makeouts. how much hot showers hurt after being in the cold. stealing then feeling bad about it. cold shoulders. powerplays.

picking 13. favorites. feeling contrite.


T H of E leaves H I E R O P H A Nelectricity T sunlight through layers the way hair floats in water

unsolved mysteries

that blood rushes blue inside us/ the way it spills red to the surface

urban legends

the fact that people were made to cry when sad

white lies

the strength in wings

insane science

skin on skin

kissing

the permanence of stars first the unintelligible language of love changes in weather the unknown origin of irrational fear

being picked presents twins inheritance

hiding

napping

that we make music day and night

reading through the

bike tires in crunchy leaves answered breathing fire you forgot

having questions remembering that thing

waking up to snow summer eating peaches

seven in the keeping secrets

moss someone’e ear

whispering in

velvet ribbons

effervescent joy

ink on paper

gratitude

spider webs. cocoons your own

figuring it out on

lockets

sex

hurtling. anywhere

best friends

14. are private and fleeting how lucky we are that our thoughts


THE STAR

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride, In the sepulchre there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea.

15.


D egenerate

Sons and daughters,

Life is too strong for you It takes life to love Life.

THE MAGICIAN

16.


FORTITUDE

We

have lingered in the chambers of the sea

By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

17.


THE WORLD

gabriela garcia marquez federico garcia lorca t s eliot wallace stevens H.D. Sylvia Plath william carlos williams e e Cummings pablo neruda emily dickinson

18.


THE TOWER

sally mann maya deren flannery oconnor edith wharton sylvia plath amelia earhart virginia woolf mary baker eddy anne patchett ayn rand sally mann diane arbus H.D. tracy dunham anais nin rose valland

19.


THE MOON

v erde

que te quiero verde

verde viento.

verdes ramas.

el barco sobre el mar y el caballo en la montana

20.


THE ROCK

B etween ( t h e ) advance ( i n g ) l i m i t s (

w

e

)

( l o s e t

h

e

)

l o g i c (

o

f

)

( t h e ) objects ( t h a t ) d e f i n e ( t h e ) m e a n s between (

o

u

end).

21.

r


THE DEVIL

w eeping

willows.

en media res. camera obscure. bruises. fountain of youth. mob mentality. forest primaeval aliens. leeches. test tube babies.

22.


DEATH

B arn

burning leaves of grass 100 years of solitude the bell

jar catcher in the rye anna karenina

pride and prejudice a

prayer for owen meany the woman in the wall the woman in the wall

the wasteland everything that rises must converge bel

canto mrs. kimble cat’s cradlemrs. dalloway like a hole in the head one flew over the cuckoo’s nest lolita, east of eden leaves of grass andersen’s fairy tales to kill a mockingbird

23.


fertile. echoed. verdant. drift. trembling. dewy. blur. sinewy. voracious. pulsing. vale.

pearl. etiquette. sigh.

aspen. birch. seal. otter. mesh.

tower.

revel.

clasp.

document.

manuscript.

gleam.

velvet.

weep.

brilliant.

twine.

drip.

hallucinate.

architect.

prowl,

somber,

lair.

grove.

temple.

kiss.

shiver. grove.

grave.

candide.

subtle. fairy.

tide. pearl. emerald. sapphire. ruby. sex. meadows. sacred. profane. lyrical. filial. fawn. ochre.

marble. marvel. lace. crochet. croquet. strand. rub. groan. shriek. moonlight. gypsy. underwater.

puddle. mist. creep. lick. brush. lull. seep. plunge. pulse. skull. cashmere. seep.

drowse. slate. slick. pulse. juicy. lush. tapestry. skin. flesh. inky. mythic. kill. venom. blue.

blanche.

seashell. opal. dew. topaz. brew. blend. suede. grey. bleed. spiral. ember. fingerprint.

lie.

sliver. nascent. gloaming. moonlit. starshine. invisible. cityscape. illume. nap. nestle. nettle.

yellow. primeval. gloss. disheveled. breeze. eyelash. iris. lilac.

ashes. dust. cream. whisper. runaway. veil. shadow. ochre. trace. fragment. lavender. mirage. forest.

buccaneer. wind. ricochet. crumple. milky. Lucerne.

wander. bleeding. suck. mystic. tawny. fable. pierce. pique. umbrage. poche? tithe. gallant.

knight errant.

mossy.

D enouement.

THE SKY

prison. despair. conservatory. aviary. moan. nigh.

opulent. occident. flame. nightingale. sparrow. dusky. feral. scream. fey. sniper. vengeance. prism.

24.


I t’s

25. like a moonstorm made of secret and obscure sorrows.

simply like looking at one’s insanity, but it goes on, just goes on,

THE WAR


THE LOVERS

Black and Blue Moon

H ad

I written this last night there would have been gin

blossoms and a bit about feeling the floor buckle and dip beneath us dancing to Chuck Berry.

It’s morning now

though, and the motel room feels small and known like any mystery in this space has been opened

with the little packaged bar of soap in the yellow tub where we found ourselves naked – trying to understand history.

Because of course it feels like past

lovers press their shape into us and make us something different.

But really we’re talking about wanting

to go back to moonlight, to touch body through dress, press against a shaded brick wall, the band rolling into the next number.

We knock teeth and we’re clumsy;

quick to kiss the spot on the forehead where we slam together .

26.


THE LAKE

The building seemed to be built of stone. Its columns seemed to be designed to support a roof. It looked like some sort of temple... I learned in due time that all those impressions were true. Hugh Ferriss (About an image of the Parthenon he received as a child.)

27.


THE FUTURE

28.


cover: boticelli, silvia mogni, time -2. karl brossfeld, sea hyun lee, logic -1. terry evans, touch 1. debbie carlos, charlotte ballestros, someday 2. louise despont, H.D., pine 3. maya deren, anais nin, drift 4. black dahlia, sally mann, jolie holland, girl 5. rolf F., pope’s grotto, budapest, muse 6. richard prince, william carlos williams, gifts 7. wings, gems, shadow/light 8. yoshi sodeoka, water tiger, balance 9. anna verlet, wander 10. wings of victory, federico garcia lorca, pride 11. lirbrary of congress, waiting 12. henry moore, edward gorey, ts eliot, soul 13. salvador dali, botticelli, my ex girlfriend, pleasure 14. eben goff, Caspar David Friedric, wonder 15.gordon laite, harry clarke, edgar allen poe, fantasy 16. edgar lee masters, li rui, roam 17. ts eliot, ludwig hilberseimer, future 18. charles negre, poets, fly 19. women 20. jack glover, federico garcia lorca, kim sin hye, melt 21. toshio shibata, james bassett, create 22. scott camil, edweard maybridge, delicate 23. idris khan, elena kalis, worlds 24. suzy poling, luxury 25. anais nin, ruin 26. joseph cornell, leif pdhajsky, rob kenagy, love 27. dave beckermann, leif podhajsky, grace



Iconic Autobiography