A Note on Crushes

Crushes sprang from conversations I was having with texts, film, music, other poems/poets and my own observations.  I was reading Anne CarsonÕs Eros: The Bittersweet and Paul FriederichÕs The Meaning of Aphrodite and thinking about the mythic underpinnings and energy that ÒcrushÓ contains.  I had also just struck up a writerly conversation with the Ottawa poet, rob mclennan, through his work and our email exchanges and was influenced by what he leaves out and the swiftness of his turns within a line or from line to line.  Along with that, my experience watching my students at Clark University subtly change each spring had me thinking and talking to myself about the occult nature of eros and its noumena, its presence, which is most keenly felt in absence.  Combining this with Jim Jarmusch films, the rests and repetitions of James Brown, and a Diane Arbus exhibit, among others, had me asking myself what was this space and silence that drove desire?  What was or could be spoken that simultaneously shaped and propelled it?  I was fascinated by both the mute suspension of a crush and the desire to know the story.  Of course, alongside the erotic denotation of the word is its destruction:  To crush, to destroy, and to have a crush on, to desire, to want.   To have a crush on, however, is so much, socially, a part of na•ve yearning (Gershwin notwithstanding) that it has a sense of the need to desire, which is at once projective and self-reflexive.   In both senses of the word, thereÕs nothing lasting or whole.  Part of its allure and great beauty is its transience and fragmentation.  Its palimpsestic nature allows for possibilities which lead me to think about the workings of memory, language and perception. 

                                                                                          --Lea Graham