Amaranth Borsuk is a poet and scholar interested in textual materiality across media. She is the author of Handiwork (Slope Editions), and, together with Brad Bouse, Between Page and Screen (Siglio Press). Her collaboration with Kate Durbin and Ian Hatcher, Abra, received an Expanded Artists' Books grant from the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago and is forthcoming as an artist's book and iPad app. A trade edition will be published by 1913 Editions this spring. A collaboration with Andy Fitch, As We Know, which takes the form of an erased and redacted diary, was selected by Julie Carr for the Subito prize, and is forthcoming in late 2014. Amaranth is an Assistant Professor in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington, Bothell, where she also teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics. More information on her work is available at www.amaranthborsuk.com.
1. Some Magicians Are Like Sculptors
Pinwheel, you are a talisman guiding the light of astral bodies: save it up and blast the bad rays back to space. Backspace. Back up. You cultivate a telic chakra in your cyclone of bicycle spokes (that's only when your momentum's arrested, otherwise you move quick as culture and no one can see you). Stilled, one might mistake you for a gorgeous gorget (go-getter) circling the neck of a cloud, but in fact you are sharp, you cut low, low cut, your design a palindrome: read all the way round, you return to moraled pin. Your sound: mylar streamers in blossoming cherry while crop dusters drift silently across bucolic palimpsests of field. Or no, it looks like someone's left the sound off. If the game won't start, you say, try blowing on the cartridge.
2. Some Clothes Are Like Magic
You are a nautilus shell. Turned in on yourself (never navel-gazing), as you move, sliding footwise over slate, your palletted shell clicks, a walking mosaic, clattering, yet put together. You are palpable—all eyes upon you, a noise like the syncopated pop of an expandable straw escapes. Or maybe a ream of scrap paper slipping, sheet by sheet, from a desk. No, a cascade of hot milk through latte's foam, you think and gasp, distracted by the compact skin of flags through which you semaphore your intent: to pack and unpack your suitcase to grand effect. Each fold invites its opposite in this slow performance of self fashioning. When you finally open up, all that's left is a voice on a radio tuned to static: over and out.
3. Some Shapes Are Like Not Being Worn
You arrive pressed carefully in a sealed bag that opens with a sigh, labeled J. Crew. J/K, you hate preppy chic, but like shrink-wrapped catalogue-wear (it's true) your creases will never come out. Your design bug is a feature: pentagram folds for keeps provide a restrained anarchy. Your bright song, a holiday tune: "Silver Belle." At the phrase Roll out! you transform from a Christmas star to an angel's red carpet look (still the tops), a pleated pouf that magnifies her mecha shape. Your sound is neon's buzz, radiating a power pose, no one sees you close your five fabric fingers into a fist. Say it: easy mockery. No one messes with you, Missy, when you un-origami and pump up the volume on your shiny Michelin suit to step into the night.