On Jean Valentine

Hafizah Geter at The Paris Review:

She was a poet who could carve both stillness and speed from the gap and one who, for me, lit the match. She was the poet who first taught me to obsess over the responsibility of the line break and in her house, she held her shoulders like a woman no longer afraid to let it be known she liked to be amused. Whatever she and her line breaks had been through, she’d long ago found the courage to say.

People are not wanting /—“How much breath,” she asked me in her living room, “do you need to get where you want to go?”—to let me in.

For years of my adolescence, it was like the Counting Crows’ “Long December” was always on. I had a loneliness in me so big, yet so compact, it could have been shaped like a Jean Valentine poem.

more here.

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