back toJacket2

This is Jacket 14 - July 2001   |   # 14  Contents   |   Homepage   |

This issue of JACKET is a co-production with SALT magazine

Elaine Equi

Two poems

The Movie Version

I am reading Emily Dickinson
when suddenly her poem begins speaking
in the voice of Mia Farrow - a young Mia
as she was in Rosemary’s Baby

recites: "Heart! We will forget him!
You and I - tonight!" with resolution
in her strange faux English accent
as if she were speaking about Frank Sinatra.

And later I hear Haley Mills and Grace Kelly
try on the same line but with less conviction
so ultimately, it is Mia Farrow who stars
in my movie version, with her long hair

dyed blue-black and later crew-cut.
Mia Farrow who stands at the top of a stair
clutching a knife. "You may forget the warmth
he gave - I will forget the light!"

Mia Farrow in Victorian nightgown. Mia Farrow
in a poorboy and skirt, walks by herself,
visiting each word slowly as if it were a grave
on which she places the next word.

"When you have done pray tell me
That I may straight begin!"
Mia Farrow hails a cab. "Haste! lest while
you’re lagging I remember him!"

The Banal (a prose-poem)

Even with its shitload of artifacts, the everyday is radiant, while the banal is opaque and often obscure. I prefer the latter, with its murky agate, mushroom, ochre background music - its corridor of lurk. One hardly knows where one stands with/in the banal. Walls come together with hardly a seam. Wherever we are, we feel we have always been. Poe, for all his special effects, is rather banal in his approach to the supernatural, i.e. overly familiar. Against the inarticulate velvet of this mood, one grasps at the everyday for relief. Thus any object can bring us back with the fast-acting power of aspirin. Any object shines.

Elaine Equi is the author of many books including Surface Tension, Decoy and most recently, Voice-Over, which won the 1998 San Francisco State Poetry Award. She lives in New York.
You can read her commentary on "unspeakable ambition" in Jacket # 7.

J A C K E T # 14   and   S A L T # 13   Contents page
Select other issues of the magazine from the | Jacket catalog | read about Jacket |
Other links: | top | homepage | bookstores | literary links | internet design |
Copyright Notice: Please respect the fact that this material is copyright. It is made available here without charge for personal use only. It may not be stored, displayed, published, reproduced, or used for any other purpose

This issue of Jacket is a co-production with SALT magazine,
an international journal of poetry and poetics, edited by John Kinsella
PO Box 937, Great Wilbraham, Cambridge PDO, CB1 5JX United Kingdom ISSN 1324-7131

This material is copyright © Elaine Equi
and Jacket magazine and SALT magazine 2001
The URL address of this page is