Process 1: Cursive Distance
Process 1: "Cursive Distance"
by Juliette Gutmann
At the slightest touch
you rise and bruise,
infused into handiwork.
Puzzles, unspoken losses
haunt like cat’s cradles like
twists of fiber. When did I
first figure colorspun
wool slipping through your fingers
withheld words, infiltrated
across circular knitting needles?
What the lamp beams
what I would say
curtailed, how the thin letters I write
from abroad, script us—
mother/daughter, unsealed and sealed.
The textures of your yarn blur
the way grape skins
bruise, the way twilight slants
across an olive grove, the way light
on your wall, magnified, falls
into the rhythm, knit/purl, knit/purl.
Indigo shadows, your shadow
leans knit/ slip/ knit/slip
long past twilight. You cradle the yarn
like letters you slip over, reread
always long for, never decipher.
Juliette Gutmann is a poet and memoirist. She lived for years in Florence, Italy where she taught English at the University of Florence and translated contemporary Italian poetry. After returning to the US she earned a D.A. (Doctor of Arts) in English from the University at Albany and taught creative writing at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She joined the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program at the University at Albany as a full-time lecturer in Fall 2013. She is currently at work on a poetry chapbook Sepia & Wool.