Éireann Lorsung’s poetry reflects a love of craft; not just the craft of poetry, but her love of textiles, dressmaking, and paper. Lorsung’s artistic talents are not limited to being a wordsmith; she also used to have her own line of clothing and now creates prints and drawings. Lorsung was born in Minneapolis and earned in MFA in writing and her BAs in English and Japanese from the University of Minnesota. You can find out more about Lorsung at her website, ohbara.com.
When are you coming back to stand in front of the window?
(I heard you whistling last night. Cars pass me by all day,
waves circling the enormous globe.)
So much is left out, I’m knitting a pattern without
stitches, without needles, only long fingerbones
to carry yarn. There was something buried
the night I left Eau Claire for good, and I never knew
how it would grow. Now your childhood friends
are my students, I walk past houses you lived in
without my knowledge and your scent trails
from abondoned bakeries. Whole warehouses
have been invented to catalogue want like this.
I go on knitting night and day because I don’t know
any other thing. All unknits by darkness
into twine birds use piece by piece. What secret
name can I call you? What adventure are you on tonight?
There is forgetting in the density of raw new wool,
yarn shop one block from your apartment,
the cheap scarf – you don’t value things
because you never make them. Moon over the whitening world
sharpens spindle, windowframe. The sash
is pulled, seam is set: without material, there is no map.
“Knitting” in music for landing planes by by Éireann Lorsung (Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2007). Copyright © 2007 by Éireann Lorsung. Reprinted with permission from Milkweed Editions.