The Southern California Review, a journal that had been published through USC’s now discontinued Master of Professional Writing program, has –with issue nine– now become issue one of Exposition Review, and I am grateful to their editors for both providing a home to my poem “Tidal Friction” and inviting me to read at their launch party at Hennessey + Ingalls bookstore on Wednesday, March 30.
“Tidal Friction” has its origins, as many of my poems do, in the conjoining (or clashing) of otherwise distinct registers or contexts. In this case, I was inspired by the fact (tragedy?) that the moon is moving farther and farther away from earth at the same speed at which our fingernails grow; the term “tidal friction” refers to the reciprocal interaction between the earth and moon, one aspect of which is this growing divergence. I took that idea and tried to write a poem that would reconcile that separation and the fact that I can look up to the night sky to watch the moon moving away and then look down at my hands to witness my fingernails growing outward and see (or not see) the act of separation as it is occuring. The poem found its structure when I tried to adopt (adapt?) the language and cadence of an intervention in order to speak to the moon. Or to myself. Or to the universe. I’m still not quite sure.