The Gorgeous Nothings

Collaged correspondences: Alexa Mergen on movement, stillness, & other practices

When I was a girl, my father used to set me atop the postal service mailbox located around the corner from our house. Blue and red, with a cavernous mouth that swallowed envelopes into what I imagined to be an enormous steel belly, its steadfast presence signified a mysterious process of reception and delivery — the transport of words to somewhere else.

Of a related process — the carrying over of one word to another — poet and translator Forrest Gander observes a corresponding mystery:

The light of this

“The world will not rest satisfied,” wrote a reviewer of Emily Dickinson’s poems in 1892, “till every scrap of [Emily Dickinson’s] writings, letters as well as literature, has been published.”[1]

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