017.1: Natalie Lyalin:: Electrocardiogram & Small and Private Tragedies
24 May 2010
I hadn’t thought about the word electrocardiogram until encountering Natalie Lyalin’s poems for this issue. I knew the word but perhaps didn’t think of its makeup: what the heart (cardio) writes (graph) by its electricity (electro). Implied in the metaphor are two levels of interpretation, the machine itself and the technician who reads the chart. Both are readers and that reading becomes rewriting. And indeed, here are two poems-- tight compact pieces that peak and trough electrically-- like those little square green screens. Here a grieving heart is run through two lenses: poem as machine and you as technician. Read these grief machines.