Elisa Karbin's poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Indiana Review, West Branch, Notre Dame Review and Blackbird, amongst others, and have been nominated to multiple Pushcart prizes. Her chapbook Snare is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in 2018. She is a PhD candidate in poetry at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she also teaches.
Rough weather is the mantra spinning
spider-fine into the hems
of my every dress, tracing its garish yarns
into the seams.
I laugh and stitch
the curtains closed, I shake and find
my hair is where I left it.
Night-born rain comes in, announces itself
sibilant against the pane, the unswept floor.
I see myself so easily now:
those ice-crack eyes, the face
that rises up to glower. Exquisite.
This echo, hollowed imitation,
awash in chemical light,
dresses me in phosphorous new skin.
Hypnagogia is a strange, liminal space we occupy between wakefulness and sleep, when we rock forward and back on the threshold of consciousness as the body is wrested from the logical control of the wakeful brain and waits wildly for the balm of sleep. Often a side-effect of psychotropic medications and/or episodes of psychic distress, this poem attempts to examine the way in which mental illness fractures identity while rendering this slippage between the conscious understanding of the self and the kind of self-hood perceived by the absence of the ego between these states.