Deborah Bernhardt received a BA in English/Art History/Photography from Sarah Lawrence College and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. She has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center/Provincetown, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, Summer Literary Seminars/St. Petersburg, Russia, Summer Fishtrap, Penn State Altoona, and the Wisconsin Arts Board. Her work appears in recent issues of columbia poetry review, Court Green, Cue, and Fence. Her first poetry collection, Echolalia, was published by Four Way Books.
Deborah Bernhardt's Web site
by Deborah Bernhardt
Payphone mouthpiece speckles. Called
the alive boy. I stand pixilated.
One-hour processing, three months dead. Over and over
the sound gap and failure.
Easy to see lapses onshore,
looking at drifting constructs. All of us little cases
scampering after false constructs.
My latest emergency
has no valor.
My personal whatever is not social witness, not political,
could stay undeveloped in a
partytime throwaway camera.
himself. Whoops. My late comfort smiling exactly to me,
his paparazzi. His smile I
induced. Who ever did care
about the speaker? Secretly, the avant-garde did. All others
are in the vocative; all others are locators. The personal epiphany,
a petit mort.
I read Christine’s poem of echolocation: face is
face...face...faces. If I tell the alive boy how the
gripped my shoulder,
looking to my dim eyes rather than the meteor,
might feel unlost. Live wire’s
voice wants to know why I do this.
am talking as a bat navigates. Not to hear myself, but to know
where I am. Energy is
usually flung with selfish boomerang
we want it returned. Please be kinder.
Narrative or Language,
longing for backlash. As to know the direction
of our faces. If the dead are
soundwaves something fronts us.
from Echolalia. (c) 2006 Deborah Bernhardt. With permission of Four
Way Books, Inc., All rights reserved.