Black Lodge Press releases “Map of the Second Person,” a chapbook by Jefferson Navicky: a hybrid of poetry and prose, narrative arc and singularity, visual art, literature, and a chair.
The wind has started pointing again: pieces left
over, sharp bits, ticks of habit you continually
ignore. Talk suspicious—when do words stop
maturing and begin to rot? When does the
pronoun fail to be you?
Ashen claws hook, can you shake free these
holdings? Can you make haste slowly,
Walking is always crushing to the ear.
Navicky says of the text: I like to think about confusion a lot. In Map of the Second Person I suspended the reader in not-knowing, a gray area between certainty and doubt. I try to place my writing as securely in this place as possible, though even as I write the word 'securely' I realize this place is anything but secure.
If an image is the eye
emerged from its confusion and measure by it all
By its nature, the terrain is confusing. It will not yield itself to easy, straightforward answers, but it is a place where the mind can exist, and at times, a place where the mind can rest, in the svaroopa yoga sense: when you still your mind, you abide in your own essence and experience svaroopa. In Map of the Second Person, resting is a place of memory. Nothing to be done about the memories, even if emotions arise from them, but to just let the memories float through the mind's gray area that exists between images. How then does one continue?
you walked out of your room at the end of the
hall, turned left, past the wallace stevens poem
that told you one must have a mind of winter,
roosevelt school of music, past dried seaweed,
past bushy eyebrows, past pitch pipes, past the
french language, past
violin, past baseball, past mass media, past some
kid’s mother from texas, and you emerged into
the upper lobby where you found yourself on the
top of the stairs, wondering.
To me, this relates to a life of suffering, and how do I engage with the suffering both within me and around me, how do I acknowledge it, feel compassion for it, and make efforts to lessen it?
To speak implies a cut, not treason but a less violent
act like slipping the knife in because the fist won’t fit.
A child, a clashing pattern, an age young and
ordinary, each image a nucleus, a city in crisis, a
sunday morning in fall on the fourth floor among
so many fourth floors so many falling sundays.
[…]Your tongue pressed you into some other kind of
sleep, a black deep within the eye, demolishing
the early hour
This sounds very bodhisattva, which it is, but in an easy and practical sense. It is a very simple everyday practice of making the most courageous choice. But sometimes that action cannot occur. And instead one is caught, possibly in a time-stop or a memory loop, but at that point one cannot continue in the presupposed progression. Movement becomes an impossibility and the question becomes, what now? I offer Map of the Second Person as a gift to others to counteract suffering. -JN