About the Poems
by Jenni Russell
"The Book of Poems"—I find dream symbols and the dilation of time perception in dreams fascinating. All of the images in this poem were taken from my dream journal. "Pot Brownies"—Substances like cannabis and LSD cause time perception to dilate. Thomas De Quincey once said that under the influence of opium he seemed to live a hundred years in one night. I added a fragmentary effect and white space to visually represent the movement of time/space. "Pavlov"—I wrote this poem in my head before it went on paper. My first attempts felt overworked. I’m right handed and decided to try writing with my left hand—which forced me to be less verbose. "The Recognition"—This speaker is no longer naïve to social notions that romanticize love and make it “blind.” Her companion’s actions have lost their “innocence” because of the context in which her memories occur. "Still Life with Irises"—This poem is after the van Gogh painting. I've always been fascinated by his work, in part because it almost looks as if the images are painted on top of water—they are penetratable barriers to the conscience and unconscious.