- JJ Rowan
The Sonnet Eater // JJ Rowan
If I puked up some sonnets would you call me a miracle? -- Neko Case
It was September of 2015. I was listening to Neko Case while missing poets I love while living in a new house with two strangers. I was living with loss and grief.
I was living newness. I was confused by newness. I’ve never been one to write sonnets.
I’ve always been challenged by living in a body.
I’m often trying to reconstitute a body of loss. I wanted to be the miracle.
After the first round of pictures, the puked-up sonnet, as Case puts it, was living
in a jar on my desk.
An important part of the original process, and my larger process in general, was writing out the sonnet by hand and then chopping it up. The first round was timid: I was testing what it felt like to hold paper in my mouth, what it felt like to capture my body suggesting the ugliness of function, what it felt like to be quiet with function.
Sometimes you can’t speak because the whole world is in your mouth.
I have a body and the poem has a body. I think maybe I’m interested in what the sonnet can do to the body, or the body
to the sonnet.
Or I’m just a little fascinated with the flavor of paper.
JJ Rowan eats sonnets and dances in Oregon. Her most recent chapbook, the selected jesus, is available from Shirt Pocket Press.