There’s always a girl. She’s good but not nice. Or nice, but never to you. And she’s in the forest, in the red and dark and mulch, and her mother is calling for her or has just stopped calling. There’s a pickup truck someplace on the road, if she can find it—the keys are under the mat—and the animals are gathering around her, not just out of curiosity. You know her from somewhere, but she’s looking everywhere but your face, she’s looking at her knife. She has the feeling she’s heard this story before, in her room, at night, in that subdivision just outside of the capital square. There was a book then, and another voice, or she might’ve been here all along.
Which is to say I’m interested in created myth. This girl gets around. She’s the victim and the aggressor; she plays a lot of parts. In order to write these poems, though, I find that I need to play around a lot with distance. I’m thinking about this in terms of emotional autobiography. Even when writing in the first person, even when writing from one’s own experience, there’s the obvious metamorphosis from poet to speaker. I’ve found, in my own work, that I’m the most comfortable when writing from the third person. I’m trying to make that distance explicit–she, never I—and in that way I’m collapsing it, because the burden of factual authenticity is off my shoulders. She’s not me, so she always is.