Jillian Weise on "Semi Semi Dash"

Semi Semi Dash

The last time I saw Big Logos he was walking
to the Quantum Physics Store to buy magnets.
He told me his intentions. He was wearing

a jumpsuit with frayed cuffs. I thought the cuffs
got that way from him rubbing them against
his lips but he said they got that way

with age.  We had two more blocks to walk.
"Once I do this, what are you going to do?"
he asked. "I wish you wouldn't do it," I said.

Big Logos bought the magnets and a crane
delivered them to his house. After he built
the 900-megahertz superconductor, I couldn't go

to his house anymore because I have all kinds
of metal in my body. I think if you love someone,
you shouldn't do that, build something like that,

on purpose, right in front of them. 


On "Semi Semi Dash"

Usually it goes like this: Able-bodied poet evokes disabled veteran, or friend in some accident/illness, or figurative language thereof. We recognize these poems and we feel bad. We have been reading these poems since the Bible. It has gotten a little ridiculous, lately, with poems that use amputation as metaphor for Fragmentation or the Dead Father or Pick-Your-Sadness. After years of phantom limbs in various poems, there is now a magazine titled Phantom Limb. I come to this scene as a poet whose leg is a computer. "Semi Semi Dash" is a love poem first, and a protest poem in retrospect. The poem was a gift. It arrived one day and required few revisions. There are many opinions on how to write difference in poems. M says never mention your disability in poems. N says always mention your disability in poems. O says if you mention it, you must define it. P says for the pure poet, identity is irrelevant. Q says they are all liars. R says this is not art. While writing the poem, I evacuated all of these opinions. My one complaint about the poem is that science fiction is an escape. There is probably another poem hiding behind this one.




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