I read Kanye’s book of advice on how to be more like him, and how he became the best version of himself. It’s called “THANK YOU AND YOU’RE WELCOME.” On page 33, he says “Never complain without offering a solution!” No poem I have ever loved has ever offered a solution. But I feel resolved when I read Lorine Niedecker on the train. I feel saluted. I want to befriend the child she aborted at Zukofsky’s “urging.” I feel resolved when Nat shows me a small chapbook of elegies for Niedecker written by her friends. At brunch, he reads me a short essay her publisher wrote about her. I can’t focus on what Nat is saying of what Niedecker’s publisher once said. I am already imagining myself as the fallen, lonely, misunderstood heroine. The “poetess” being referred to with such contempt and admiration. Her “restraint,” and how that sets her apart. Her formality. Her discipline. No one refers explicitly to gender and yet the boundaries are being drawn without anyone necessarily participating. I am already fantasizing about my small, unimportant life becoming so mind-bogglingly important to a few, select people. I have selected to be part of this. I feel as if I have nothing to say. Whatevs.
ilu jenny zhang.