I am not entirely convinced that Roxane Gay is a single entity. I intend to find out at the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival, where she will sit for panels and interviews on both Saturday and Sunday, March 22 and 23
1. Windows! Brothers I never had. Sisters sane, clear, unlike my mad, abusive sister, dead.
2. Eblouissant. French words I like to taste. Etincelle Malgré. I like them all, stippled on the tongue.
3. Always here, windows, even invisible, standing beside me, walking, running, windows of the levee road. Windows eyes of the soul? Who is seeing whom?
4. Blake said: cleanse the panes of perception. Door-windows. Break down every door and set clear vision there. Wings, then. Wind and wings.
5. Blake went to the door naked. Who looked on him, genius he was? Mike, who knows more about Blake than l, said he did this only once. Maybe even I could do it once.
6. Once is enough for everything. I have seen, though, down my God-spaces again and again, which can open almost anywhere. Walking the levee. Windows but transparent. My window, translucent.
7. God always watching us as they teach in Sunday School. The soul a window, always watching God.
8. Prose is a clear river, poetry a muddied lake, afraid of too much clarity.
9. To be scene and to see, the moment and its passing into moments. And then a life is over, like the mayfly’s day.
10. Travel is only new language. Shall I go to Russia, just because I’m reading The Brothers K? Sometimes I know just how dumb I am.
11. But I won’t be learning Russian or even trying. Czech was a bust. I couldn’t understand a word they spoke. It sounded like phlegm, gold phlegm but nevertheless phlegm they spit at me.
12. Why can’t I just travel around my room—like Dickinson? But she had a bigger room than I do, in every way.
13. I’d like the glass house they talk about in Duchess of Malfi. All windows, all ready for any weather, rain or scorch, a greenhouse, a terrarium, a room we can walk around in, the sun and I walk and talk.
Peter Cooley’s tenth book World Without Finishing will appear this spring from Carnegie Mellon University Press. He is Director of Creative Writing at Tulane University in New Orleans.2