Four Blue Eggs, The Comet's Tail, Uncategorized

Coils

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Losing the Summer

Winter enters the body and it collapses,
the blood cells attack, the fever leaves
the brain with its patterns of coils
and discs like a red stovetop,
an alphabet of rivers and branches.
This landscape, contoured for activity, settles
into animal hibernation,
while remnants of ancient languages howl
from the hospital monitor.

Like dried sap on a tree,
crusted, yet viable, a small scar has left itself
after the coma – such a thing is not
a deformity, but a bud:
a seed replanting its succulence,
an isthmus back to the world.

 

Come see me at Byrd’s Books on Sunday, June 3rd for a Book Club discussion of The Comet’s Tail: A Memoir of No Memory, which chronicles that lost summer. “Losing the Summer” is from Four Blue Eggs, which was a finalist for the 2013 Poetry Prize from Homebound Publications. The 2018 Poetry Prize is now open for submissions.

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The Comet's Tail

Half dove

From Little Bound Books and Homebound Publications: The Comet’s Tail: A Memoir of No Memory.

Nawrocki Broadside 4 (2)

About the book:

I do not remember the tubes, the tests, or the icy cold of space. 
I do not remember losing six months of my life.

At age nineteen, Amy Nawrocki returned from her first year of college, scribbled a few notes in her journal, and took a terrifying summer trip. She remembers one night of disorientation, then nothing until Christmas, when awareness slowly restarts. The Comet’s Tail is the story of these missing months: the seizures and fever spikes, the deep nothing of coma, and the unexpected, dramatic recovery. Memory is recreated around EEG transcripts and doctors’ notes, family vigils and blurry Polaroids. From her unique perspective, Nawrocki investigates the connections between memory, trauma, and identity. She illuminates what it means to truly return to consciousness in this extraordinary memoir of illness, healing, and writing over the blank pages of our lives.

Here are a few lines from my first college journal (blog exclusive)–a college girl’s perception of herself, nine months before the galaxies would close (for a while):

I’m cold. I’m lonely. I’m an elephant in a supermarket. I need, I need, I need. I’m a very selfish person. I’m so inefficient. I can’t do anything. I think I’ll write a poem now. Drink lots of coffee, and be a night owl tonight and write a brilliant essay about Achilles, godlike swift runner. . . . . I’ll look for that wacky pigeon again — the half dove, what a shame to be half a dove.

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The Comet's Tail

The Energy of a Tidal Wave

Nawrocki Broadside 3

I am not a delicate flower. I am not
the likeness of a leopardess, I am the energy
of a tidal wave. I am the catastrophe of a raindrop.
I am an orchid, I am a lily. I am a life and
death without a mask. I am a fork and a forklift.
I am rubbish of apple seeds. I am mother, I am
earth, and when I speak, I call up windlessness
and ask its name.

~Journal excerpt from March 1992, featured in The Comet’s Tail: A Memoir of No Memory, an exploration of my journey into an out of an encephalitic coma.

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The Comet's Tail, Uncategorized

Once . . . always

Pre-orders of The Comet’s Tail: A Memoir of No Memory have shipped! To celebrate, here’s a snippet, teaser, foreshadow. The memoir chronicles the summer of 1992 when I slept in a “profound coma.” Leading up to that illness, I kept a journal–mostly ramblings of a first-year college student, a few loose drafts of poems, many musings on boredom and loneliness. Process work.

But looking back, there are passages that spoke with soothsaying eerieness. For example:

09 March: I found boredom to be sleepless
under a rock of drug induced comatose crustaceans.
This, I’m sure is also the place where the
meaning of life finds nutrients but alas, once
comatose always comatose . . . When I have
children I’m having them in my brain.

Isthmus 1993

The journal entry is from March. In June, everything would shut down and become a blur. Read more . . . .

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Four Blue Eggs, The Comet's Tail, Uncategorized

Insomnia, debunked

From Four Blue Eggs (2017 Homebound Publications), a poem that has had quite a journey, from a notebooks sketch more than 25 years ago to a small but central kernel excerpted in my forthcoming memoir, The Comet’s Tail: A Memoir of No Memory.

In My Sleeplessness, I Hear an Opera

In the beginning, I hear the darkness.
I am crowded by the soprano’s knowlege
of body rhythms. I see I E flat cry.
And then the light bulbs begin to sprout, one
by one, by the side of the stage where all
the Presidents line up in order.
I know them by their thunderous tenors,
because when eyelids magnetize I do not
sleep. After that I pretend that I lay
in a coffin, my arms folded like white
linen in a closet oddly fitted
to the size of my body. I smell cedar.
But all this time I have been wondering
if my eyelashes have learned how to sing.

I’ll be reading from Four Blue Eggs and other works at Byrd’s Books in Bethel CT, on Friday, May 18th at 7:00 for part three of Byrd’s Spring Poetry Series.

Four Blue Eggs Cover Second Edition-final

 

Four Blue Eggs, The Comet's Tail, Uncategorized

Forthcoming

As the year winds down, I’m looking forward next year’s release of The Comet’s Tail: A Memoir of No Memory. This will be one of two essays released by Little Bound Books, a division of Homebound Publications.

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Kirkus calls it “a complex and compelling memoir.” Read the full review here.

As an enticement (Homebound is taking pre-orders), here is “In My Sleeplessness, I Hear an Opera” which is featured in Four Blue Eggs.

In My Sleeplessness, I Hear an Opera

In the beginning, I hear the darkness.
I’m crowded by the soprano’s knowledge
of body rhythms. I see E flat cry.
And then the light bulbs begin to sprout, one
by one, by the side of the stage where all
the presidents line up in order.
I know them by their thunderous tenors
because when eyelids magnetize, I do not
sleep. After that, I pretend I that I lie
in a coffin, my arms folded like white
linen in a closet oddly fitted
to the size of my body. I smell cedar.
But all this time I have been wondering
If my eyelashes have learned how to sing.