Gabriel Jesiolowski on "entry for the median strip"

entry for the median strip

it may help us to remember that our breath is not synchronized, not elegant, as we fuck on the edge of the median strip between highway & farmland – even on the plane field of the sheets my knees are buckling, but the gutters are manmade — my eyes lost in the stucco cast of the roofline – the rushing of the rain in the gutters, manmade – I want her to register on my skin – every house on the street, manmade, every war & war plane, manmade, the fluid gestures of her hands in salt water, even the wind in the tunnel is manmade


On "entry for the median strip"

I write things down that are occasionally transactional and most always interested in relation. They address separation, connection, loneliness, and becoming.

"entry for the median strip" is a poem between places/time frames. It collapses past experience into present action in an effort to reseed the past without escaping the present. The waning lovers fuck in interstitial space: inside of a car paused on the no-way-strip between lanes . . . with no need, no expectation, with little will to precipitate something that's nearly over.

Around the time that I wrote this poem I was thinking about the way that bodies hold memory, as in trauma, as in love, and how language often fails to give these signs away; how being in a body – in the world – routinely fails at poetry. Because in this poem, desire is not enough. Not enough to reconnect two drifting lovers; not enough to remake a body out of knowledge, but just enough to queer the line and ask the reader to revise the flimsy, remissive way we use a phrase like "manmade."

This poem is the first poem in the book, As Burning Leaves. It's also a way of working that I've carried through into my current project, Entry for Exits. I use the form of the 'entry' because it's diaristic, practical (a civics of inside out), both fragile and structural.

There is a loss. I imagine a courtship between desire and recovery. As in looking at a roadmap without a trip to plan in mind. To trace a road by holding one's finger still while sliding the map beneath.




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