Originally published in Willow Springs 81

From the author

Notes on “Rapunzel w/ Head Half-Shaved”

This poem is a string of distractions from the speaker’s obsessing and I think that each particular clawed, feathered, deafening intrusion heightens and draws acute attention to an unacknowledged space. C.D. Wright’s cadence and form in “Re: Happiness, in pursuit thereof” is a strong influence and helped me create an overwhelming blitz and ultimately dissolve it. This world is intensely familiar to me: the fridge so full of glass vials of medicine for cattle that the door rattles, booming air compressors and nail guns, tornado warnings buzzing over the TV and radio. It’s one poem in a series that uses Rapunzel as a vehicle to examine my interior and all of these small sharpnesses seemed like the only way authentic to me to explore (or elude) a fragile state of mind.


Music, Food, Booze, Tattoos, Kittens, etc.

I truly, honestly tasted tofu for the first time last week and I immediately booked it to the grocery store and bought as many blocks as would fit in my arms. I loved it that much. I think it’s strange that my father was a soybean farmer, but it took me nearly three decades to eat any soy-based food. I used to watch him test the germ by putting 100 beans in a warm, wet towel on the counter. I don’t think I knew they were edible as a child, only that the pods felt like velvet. The crop made its way back to our community in the form of feed for livestock and industrial use, but not for us.

I’ve been revisiting outlaw country lately. I grew up in a low-literacy household and this was my first exposure to poetic language. Emmylou Harris. Tanya Tucker. Townes Van Zandt. Waylon Jennings. My partner randomly bursts into bits and pieces of “Highwayman” around the house. I’ll join in from another room for a lopsided duet. “I fly a starship/Across the Universe divide/And when I reach the other side/I’ll find a place to rest my spirit if I can…” It’s rather soothing.


About Canese Jarboe

Canese Jarboe is the author of the chapbook dark acre (Willow Springs Books, 2018). Their poems appear recently in Muzzle, TYPO, Indiana Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and elsewhere. Canese earned an MFA in Creative Writing from University of Idaho. Originally from rural southeastern Kansas, they currently live and teach in coastal Louisiana. Twitter: @canesejarboe Website: www.canesejarboe.com


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