Friday, January 27, 2017

I Wish I'd Written This

My Sister Jokes With Me

My sister jokes with me on Skype—pretending that we can feed each other what we're eating through the cameras.

I remember her feeding me when I was a little girl. She makes the same faces when playing with my son and my daughter—lips twisting sour, eyes wide.

It is as if each memory is made of tiny mirrors and if I pick one up to examine it, I must carefully wipe my fingerprints off of it afterwards.

One time, when I was six, she fed me slim skewers of a frankfurter hotdog off the tip of her fork. She was a train, I was a tunnel.

Each piece of meat dipped in ketchup, salty and warm,
with skin just taut enough for my teeth to tear into ...

I ate six hotdogs that day because she fed me.

By Natasha Marin
from MILK (Seattle, Minor Arcana Press, © 2014)

The book's blurb says:
Natasha Marin’s debut e-book MILK is about sustaining children, relationships, and a thriving creative life through the act of breastfeeding. In this multimedia collection, Marin explores nurturing as an act of both power and privilege wherein milk-filled breast is not just a metaphor, but a galaxy of possibility. 

"It is hard to define such nurturance, but you know when you have received it because you are no longer hungry, even if you still want better for the world and yourself. And that is where Marin’s poems leave the reader: sustained and open to more."

I thought it would be good to give you something nurturing right now, when many are feeling threatened one way or another. 

Many of the poems in MILK are about breast-feeding, as both title and blurb suggest. And there are others, like this, which are less obviously about that primal experience but still recall it.

I can't even remember now where I found this ebook. Maybe it was advertised on Goodreads; maybe someone recommended it. I'm glad I did find and buy it; it's extraordinary, wonderful poetry like nothing I've ever come across before. It makes powerful statements, in language both beautiful and startling. 

Also it exploits its status as an ebook, to play in interesting ways with technology. Marin – also an interdisciplinary artist whose own photos make this collection even more rewarding – explains here how she has arranged the book to be interactive, and discusses whether we have gained or lost more by living in this digital age.

On her Portfolio website, which lists an impressive array of achievements, she states:

The craft of writing is done in isolation with few exceptions.  For this reason, I was inspired to develop projects that engage the larger community and allow others to participate and share in my own creative expression.

The creative work I produce takes on many forms: poetry, video, sound, performance, and immersive and interactive installation. This multiplicity defines my work and functions like a native tongue. I use this language of multiplicity to communicate most profoundly who I am and what I believe about the world we are living in.

At the same time her poems can stand on their own, on the strength of the words alone. I enjoy the earthiness and simplicity of this piece, its everyday details encapsulating so much about the importance of laughter, nurture, and love.

Material shared in 'I Wish I'd Written This' is presented for study and review. Poems, photos and other writings remain the property of the copyright owners, usually their authors.


  1. I really like this. So beautiful, so human.

  2. Oh, thank you for introducing me to this amazing woman! Ms. Marin sounds like a multi-dimensional talent. I am intrigued by her making her work interactive. The poem itself is so warm, nurturing and sustaining. One hopes all children might be nurtured as lovingly as her young self in the poem. This was a delight, Rosemary. Thank you.

  3. Oh! I would have gorged on love as well! Thank you.

  4. This is a very touching poem, Rosemary!

  5. You're so right Rosemary. This is a time when many of us need a little nurturing. What a lovely approach to writing, to giving. I''m so grateful that you found this talented woman. I love her incorporation of technology, and that she explores its usefulness even as she uses it. Her poem is beautiful.

  6. This is so beautiful. Love flowing as it were. Thanks for sharing the poem with us Rosemary...

  7. Yes - a unique voice and also a reflection perhaps of how we write and share too?


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