Disassembling

by Nicole Rollender

Disassembling

Nicole Rollender is the author three poetry chapbooks Absence of Stars (forthcoming July 2015, dancing girl press & studio), Little Deaths (forthcoming November 2015, ELJ Publications) and Arrangement of Desire (Pudding House Publications). She’s the recipient of CALYX Journal’s 2014 Lois Cranston Memorial Prize, the 2012 Princemere Journal Poetry Prize, and Ruminate Magazine’s 2012 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize for her poem “Necessary Work,” chosen by Li-Young Lee. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, Alaska Quarterly Review, H_NGM_N, Harpur Palate, Heron Tree, MiPOesias, Ruminate Magazine and THRUSH Poetry Journal, among others. She received her MFA from The Pennsylvania State University, and currently serves as media director for Minerva Rising Literary Journal and editor of Stitches magazine, which recently won a Jesse H. Neal Award from American Business Media. Visit her online at www.nicolerollender.com.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “Disassembling”?

    The first draft of “Disassembling” was 150 words, so like the title, I had to extract half the words, but not half the meaning. In my work, I often write about the body: both living and dead, and as creatrix. In this poem, I wanted to show the narrator’s relationship to death: as a child innocently killing moths, and then as an adult, dealing with the loss of a friend, and the realization that the essence what the moth and person were on earth has changed, but is still present. And the idea of haunting. What does that mean? Is it physical? Is it in the nuances of words? I wanted this poem to haunt, and when I trimmed it to 74 words, I was happy that it felt very similar to the longer version.
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