i haven't left my room

the feeling of leaving
your body inside of the room

Elaine Kahn: Romance

Note From the Author:

Right now I imagine all of us sitting by the window, collectively making up the dim-lit-equidistant-squares of the rectangle building, swimming in a sea of buildings. We're staring at the rain and sharing the same loneliness. We're asking the same questions - how long will this last? how do we bring intimacy into our isolation?

My mind keeps drifting to something Nicole Flattery wrote in her book Show them a good time: 'that there were things happening out there in the world - history, events. But history was not happening in my town, not to me. I was just standing outside bars, without my coat, shoes and underwear wondering where exactly they were because - sadly - I was not wearing them. My thoughts had reached a manic, fever pitch.'

If Nicole's imagery for feeling stuck was standing naked in public; then my imagery for feeling stuck is the literal moment in which I write this - cycling pyjamas after pyjamas, walking to the kitchen and back, days sectioned between different corners of a house. My thoughts too reach a panic fever itch but not because they're isolated, but because they're influx with information and numbers and news. All the while sitting by the window, doing nothing.

But the dishes and emails and laundry and texts pile up - I have to show up and attend to them. Which is to say that even though life feels like its standing still because of this pandemic, its also, still, forever, here.



In the event of every day and its newness

of disaster, find me sunning on the rooftop, please

don’t ask anything of me.

If I could be anything

I would be the wind,

if I could be nothing

I would be.

Camille Rankine: Emergency Management

If we were not so single-minded

about keeping our lives moving,

and for once could do nothing,

perhaps a huge silence

might interrupt this sadness

of never understanding ourselves

and of threatening ourselves with death.

Perhaps the earth can teach us

as when everything seems dead

and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count up to twelve

and you keep quiet and I will go.

Pablo Neruda: Keeping Quiet

I feel like an empty glass with a small crack in the bottom, as if every attempt to fill myself up would never, ever work. Please help me.

ask polly