In Their Own Words

Paige Taggart's “Sorry As The Flame For No Other Fire”

An excerpt from "Sorry As The Flame For No Other Fire"

I find myself less able to mend an injury than begin again with broken bones and scar tissue. I'd rather kick what's already broken than heal the topical. I don't care about fire. The already smudged-out history. The crescendo of love being arrival.

When I was eight, my two friends, one of their brothers, and his friend tossed me up in a blanket towards the ceiling and didn't catch me. I broke my collarbone and immediately fell asleep. The pain threw my body into shock. I'd like to be jolted back to a world without predispositions that affect my immediate psychological state. Barely making an impression is the extent to which my bone has healed, an indication that I was once a trusting child. I wish I had been dropped on sandstone shaped like galaxies, my hip dented with the big dipper.

Change is comfortable for those looking to buy it. To find a reason to wake up in the morning. My house has beautiful light, tall windows. I could last here forever. The snow makes everything brighter than before; this doesn't mean the future holds rewards. I'm trying to reamplify my trust in the living. But my past is much more fertile than today, maybe because the hills in California stay green infinitely. Or because my brothers are there, still hugging and wrestling their differences. It's difficult to be here, without them judging me. It makes me feel less infinite.

From Or Replica (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2014). Reprinted with the permission of the author.

On an excerpt from "Sorry As The Flame For No Other Fire"

The poems are largely about love, and destroying the past experiences of love in order to arrive at a clean slate and a new hope to embrace love. It's baby clean love, it's baby no, I've never loved/been loved this way before. "The crescendo of love being arrival," we arrive at a clearer point of existence on the spectrum of our lives in order to love anew.

The prose poems are often about memory and recollection and the desire to erase memory in order to live with fewer anxieties. I think these poems pushed me to process life's events as an expression of transient stability. Settling into New York being from California is often a theme, as expressed in this third poem, it approaches reflection on identity, and the frequent brutal attempt to identify as one here, in Brooklyn. I often don't feel like I fit in because my perspective of existence and approach to life is based off a very California frame of mind, and you have to push into overdrive in NYC and really go for what you want, and know what you want. And living with that constant pressure and uncomfortable acknowledgement feels like a determination which breeds internal warfare and self-justification and self-aggrandizement and I fail to deploy the parachute of forgivingness.

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