Thursday, November 22, 2018

Zane Koss: my (walking/waiting) writing day

It is Wednesday, and I am on the subway. I type notes into my iPhone about the appearance of the glare on subway windows against the black of the tunnels as we pass into and out of stations. I think about how my body is a threat to the neighbourhood where I live, though I care deeply about that neighbourhood. Or I think about whoever back home has died recently from fentanyl or depression. Or I wonder what I am doing, why I am not helping my dad with the firewood for the winter. The poem I am writing about these issues is going poorly, and has been for some years, because I keep becoming the hero of the poem, which I most certainly am not. The subway arrives at the station where I get off.

It is Friday, and I am walking through the park on the way to the subway. I type notes into my iPhone about the appearance of the surface of the harbour, which can be glimpsed from the park. It is glimmering. Or it is dark. Or it is reticulated with waves. I do not pause. I do not slow my walking. The coldness stings the tops of my ears because I am on my way to teach, and so I am not wearing my toque. And then I am out of the park, and it is colder in the shadows of the buildings. I can no longer see the glittering or opaque surface of the harbour. I watch for cars as I cross the street against the light. I get to the subway station. I receive a text from my mom.

It is Sunday, and I am sitting at my desk. I copy and paste notes from the notes folder in my Gmail account, automatically saved from my iPhone, into a .docx document on my computer. I am listening to Chance the Rapper. Or I am listening to Young Thug. Or I am listening to Townes van Zandt. Or I am not listening to anything at all, except Kate in the other room. I collect the notes into a document and sift through them or arrange them into grids. I am doing this because I am blown out from working but feel compelled to keep doing something that makes me feel productive. I feel guilty that I am not working on my dissertation, but I keep sifting and collecting. I save the document with the date as the title. It is 2018.

Zane Koss is a poet and scholar from Invermere, British Columbia currently living in Brooklyn, New York. His critical and creative work can be found in the Chicago Review, CV2, Poetry is Dead, and elsewhere. He has two chapbooks of poetry, job site (Blasted Tree, 2018) and Warehouse Zone (Publication Studio Guelph, 2015). Zane is a doctoral candidate in the English Department at New York University, where he researches Canadian and Mexican poetry in the 1960s and 1970s.

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