Process 1: Cursive Distance

Process 1: Cursive Distance

Process 1: "Cursive Distance" 

       by Juliette Gutmann


At the slightest touch
                                   you rise and bruise,

unworded thoughts
                                   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

hesitate, reticent;
                                   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.

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