Maggie Nelson

On Fragmentation

1. Is it a memoir if the text is divided into numbered entries, lyric nuggets that intersect loosely, puzzle pieces with edges rounded by overuse until the seams reveal air, no matter how tightly you press them?

2. Is air itself an act of memoir, gaps the fullest truth we can tell?

3. If, in fact, memoir requires a writer to consider the self from all angles, and if the memoirist is Maggie Nelson, and if the memoir is Bluets, does the choice to focus on a single color as inspiration create a through line of lyric gesture that can be read both as a cheating way to connect disparate ideas and a brilliant way to consider the way the discontinuity of life can be considered?

4. Unity is for fiction.

5. Poetic gesture cannot be considered only the domain of poetry.

6. How different, after all, are Descanso for My Father and Bluets? Each organizes around rupture.

7. A focal point, whether it is a lost father or a beloved-color, creates just enough distance for a writer to find the gap in which the self hides.

8. Yet the self hides well, always, can never be anything more stable than a shadow in a darkened room, a quick wink in the mirror, a dream forgotten as soon as you wake.