on Suzanne Buffam's "In Which I Am Attacked"

When the editors asked me to choose a piece from jubilat's archive to highlight and discuss, I thought about a lot of different poems. This wasn't the first one that came to mind. jubilat has published a lot of noisier works than this, poems that take on injustice, poems that present a manifest intellectual challenge. Those kind of poems are important, but in the end I picked this one.  There's enough big difficulty in the world. I wanted something the size of just one person. 

The small, kind sensitivity that this poem possesses is important. It's human. It's funny. It's the right way to be in the world. This poem is honest about the fact that magic is a fact. This poet has the door to her childhood propped open in her head.  

I love the hatchet here, straight from a fairy tale. I love the snooty swans, who've hurt me too in the same way (maybe on a day they were a dog tied up in front of a store indifferent to my pat, or a day they were an email gone unanswered). I love the poet's way of standing slightly to the side, wry in her observation of the movement of the poem. I don't even mind that boy pulling our hair. What I most love is the end of this poem, which is a word act, which makes happen its subject, which wakes us up, which tags us. Ennui flips to possibility, even to wonder. WE ARE IT. The door is open, as it must be, at least from time to time.

"In Which I Am Attacked" can be read here, in jubilat 11.