Emily’s ‘Loaded Gun’

March 18, 2015

20111026-dickinson08-300Bright, wind-blown sunshine this Wednesday afternoon along a small patch of California’s north coast — clear til the weekend, supposedly, then rain on-and-off until the middle of next week.

Posting later than normal during the work week — sometimes plotting the narrative along current events can be overwhelming, especially in an age where a shitload of shitty stuff is happening 24/7, and usually there’s some-type media to offer coverage, and there’s just too-much suffering to sometimes make a choice on what particular stupid/heinous/astonishing act is noteworthy enough for even a note.

Today’s selection, for instance, includes a museum massacre, a ‘bloody trail’ of violent events in Arizona, and on a local angle, a possible murder-suicide.

(Illustration found here).

Instead, how about some Emily Dickinson?

In relativity — ‘My Life Had Stood — A Loaded Gun

My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun –
In Corners – till a Day
The Owner passed – identified –
And carried Me away

Beginning few words in a poem maybe written quickly, maybe hurriedly on some scrap of parchment, scribblings mirroring a stifled rage, the fascinating power of ‘an unused loaded gun‘ and the crazy insight-fusion of flesh and metal.
And even beyond life:

Though I than He – may longer live
He longer must – than I –
For I have but the power to kill,
Without – the power to die –

An odd Dickinson poem from long ago, seems to resonant with a gun-crazy world, way-especially in way-gun-nut-crazy America — the ‘We’ of gun and owner does ring a gloomy bell.

On the bright side, an Emily Dickinson lyrical-whisper this afternoon was sparked by a piece at HuffPost on how the poetic recluse would handle modern media, like Facebook, or Twitter — hard to imagine, yet…:

Luckily, artist Rosanna Bruno took it upon herself to speculate in a series of drawings she created for the forthcoming issue of BOMB Magazine.
Bruno illustrated Dickinson’s Instagram account (username: recluse1830), Facebook profile (relationship status: It’s complicated) and an entirely new set of emojis the writer would’ve been more likely to use than the techy set we’ve come to know so well.
A window, an eye, a casket and a broken heart are a few of the Dickinsonian symbols — and while Bruno doesn’t go so far as to translate the writer’s poems into emoji-speak, the outcome would likely be a feat as impressive as Emoji Dick, or, The Whale.

And see Bruno’s version of Dickinson’s OkCupid profile here.

A wonder whether Miss Dickinson would have embraced social media — a recluse, supposedly. However, what type recluse. I haven’t a real clue to the work of ‘emojis,’ which I understand are picture letters people place on electronic shit to express emotions, but I don’t even own a cell phone. No Twitter account, just check Facebook for my kids’ stuff (I never post, but the kids know that), and no social platforms/media at all.
Other than the InterWebs.

She could have easily been a ‘modern,’ online recluse — plenty of loaded-gun action there to keep the poor, wretched soul contemplating death via language infused with a highly-skilled use of hyphens.

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