Blog of Love: Day One

February 08, 2016

“To look”


“To look” is, first of all, desire.


To see again, as for the first time,

for example, the single rose.


To see the stalk, the barbed thorn,

the dizzying central spiral,


as it opens upon, or suggests

an opening upon


what, beyond the final fold,

cannot be seen.


Not merely to imagine seeing it

for the first time,


but to exist again in and as that

first moment.


To become the rose, before

the rose becomes itself.


Before–in other words–

the establishment of a “point of view.”


Before “perspective,” before

“newness,” before


“simplicity,” “the thing itself,”

“distance” or “reflection”…


To be the eye before it was an eye;


the throat before it opened and

realized there was something


outside of itself upon which it

could open…


“To look,” is, first of all,

a wanting to be filled.


As much an impulse of

the lips and of the tongue

as of the eye or the mind.


Yes, before the eyes are

even opened, the lips


and tongue already moving

toward, and in expectation of,


what can be taken in.


A simple instinct:


the acknowledgement of the body

as an empty thing, which


can and must be filled;


the acknowledgement of the body

as an empty thing, which


can and must be emptied



(Is it enough?


To exist like this: wanting?


To eat, to drink, to make, and be


made by love?)


Johanna Skibsrud is the author of two previous poetry collections, a short story collection, and two novels, the first of which, The Sentimentalists, won the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2010. Another book of poetry is forthcoming from Wolsak & Wynn's Buckrider Books imprint this fall.



No comments have been posted yet.

Add a Comment

Your Comment:

Your Name:

Your Email Address: (Won't be published)

Your Website: (If you've got one)

Contact Us

280 James Street North
Hamilton, ON L8R 2L3

Tel: 905.972.9885

email us