073.1: Sarah Maclay & Holaday Mason:: from “She”
15 August 2011
I got in a long talk this weekend with someone about The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. We talked about discordance and the act of layering—what it means to collaborate and how things become tapestry. When we work with another, we lose a part of ourselves to create something new, something larger. The two voices either act in stark juxtaposition with the other or they harmonize. In this week’s offering from Sarah Maclay and Holaday Mason, the former is the case. Lyric and narrative modes, fragments of dialogue, other quotations, and parenthetical inclusions come together through their disjunction to create a singular work. There are moments in She where I have trouble locating myself—where the She is speaker and object existing both in the I and in the feminine pronouns. All the more disorienting is that we have two poets here working with and through each other as they explore speakers too who are wrestling with their own loss and redefinition of selves. The work is complex in that redefinition—a hollow becomes something carried, an absence becomes concrete, not necessarily a deficit nor an asset.