Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bhanu Kapil, On Reading

"I read in order to emigrate. To not be there anymore. To leave the life I am in, if that is not too boring and repetitive a way to say it. It is boring to emigrate. There are airports, for example, and then a weird stretch some way in when it is too late to go back. In such a stretch now, and with family responsibilities that I never quite imagined - - I find myself reading poetry, or trying to read poetry, that is more beautiful than my actual life. I read the poetry of Dolores Dorantes, in translation by Jen Hofer in 'the red book.' I read out of the sorrow that comes over immigrants, all immigrants perhaps. Economic sorrow? Social sorrow? Anxiety that does not have a commercial antidote? I don't know. Note to self: Find out what is in other people's hearts. Start with my own heart. To summarize: I read in order to be a writer in the time I am in, which is a closed time. I read to open myself to time, which is the time that opens in turn to writing. I read to flee taut death; to embrace wet or sinking deaths instead. This probably is not making an ounce of sense. I read because it is all I have. It is the only way I know back to writing, other than an obliterating love."

{Bhanu Kapil is the author of four prose/poetry books, most recently one that doesn't exist: Schizophrene, forthcoming from
Nightboat Books in Spring 2011. She teaches at Naropa University and Goddard College. Visit her blog here.}