“On the Poverty of My Imagination” by Tiffany Beechy

Tiffany Beechy


The problem is, nothing happens in the world. There is
distance: vast stretches, wide dun-colored vistas, jungles,
lava flows, river deltas, ice fields. But I can walk out my
door and run, literally run into the utterly fixed and frozen.
I feel confident these dummies multiply ad infinitum, filling
space. The doorman to my apartment—his eyes never
leave me. I whack him with the same phrase day after
day. He never changes his uniform. His smile is the same.
My mother never changes her position on the couch, never
cleans her braces. Dad never talks. I have no siblings.
It is not that there is nowhere to get to. I could fly far
away, in fact I have been all over. The farthest
was Prague. People were just standing around.

from Rattle #30, Winter 2008


Tiffany Beechy: “There’s that famous statement: ‘poetry doesn’t do anything.’ Or something like that (‘poetry makes nothing happen’—Auden). Well, there was a stage in my life where nothing seemed to do anything. Which made everything poetry. Which made poetry everything.”

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