“The skyscraper’s amber-lit windows/ are beads on a vertical abacus/ reckoning the city’s insomnia,/toting like photons up its sins.” These lines from “Night View from the Back of a Taxi” in Vinyl Poetry introduced me to Jessica Goodfellow’s work, and today we’ll get to learn more about her. Let’s see how she filled in the blanks.
A large, unfamiliar insect is crawling across the ceiling over my bed. First, I yell for my sons to come then I run for one of the butterfly nets resting on the wall next to the front door.
[Believe it or not, this regularly happens in our household in summer. Japan has a dazzling array of insects compared to anywhere I have lived in the US, and my two junior-high-school-aged sons belong to the biology club at school. Insects both inside our house and outside are regularly caught and classified and carried in a bug cage to school to share with club-mates. My sons have been catching insects since they were very small, so as a by-product I have acquired an extensive knowledge of Japanese bugs, and I even have a favorite kind of beetle, one which farmers are attempting to eradicate here, so we haven’t seen any for the past four summers. However, this summer, my sons presented one such beetle to me as a birthday gift. I am taking care of him now; his name is Captain Dice, and though it may seem cruel to be keeping him in a bug cage, if we released him, the farmers would surely get to him.]
I would win in a reality TV show entitled From Knotty to Nice where the contestants are asked to untangle jewelry chains with an ever-increasing complexity of knots and tangles. The trick is to use straight pins.
When they build a monument to honor me, it should be sure to include big dangly silver earrings.
If I were a famous fictional crime fighter/detective, I would be Agatha Christie (who wasn’t fictional herself, but was the author/creator of the fictional detectives Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot) because Christie disappeared for a short time during her life, and I sometimes have the fantasy of disappearing, but coming back later.
If I had to work as a cook, I would quickly be fired for incompetence. (I’m actually quite a good cook, but I hate doing it, so I complain the entire time, and nobody wants to listen to that.)
Music soothes the savage beast. ‘Amid the Minotaurs’ is the best song to help me relax.
‘Amid the Minotaurs’ was composed by William Brittelle and performed by Roomful of Teeth. Actually any song by Roomful of Teeth would do it for me, but ‘Amid the Minotaurs’ is a particular favorite.
Jessica Goodfellow’s books are Mendeleev’s Mandala (Mayapple Press, 2015), The Insomniac’s Weather Report (Isobar Press, 2014), and the chapbook A Pilgrim’s Guide to Chaos in the Heartland (Concrete Wolf, 2006). Her work has been featured in Best New Poets, Verse Daily, The Writer’s Almanac, and Motionpoems. She has received the Chad Walsh Poetry Prize from the Beloit Poetry Journal. A graduate of Caltech, she lives in Japan.
Link to Latest Book: http://mayapplepress.com/mendeleevs-mandala-jessica-goodfellow/
Link to Motionpoem: Crows, Reckoning