Kate Robinson


for Zoe Tuck

truly ambiguous relations
between parents
between ideas signified
a sign of the subject

indirectly Foucault cannot be the passion,
cannot be the cause of a savage memoir

other shifts between two things:
H.D. and water,
the emptiness inside the mind

lungs are filling
hair tangling and twisting
in water, struggling

a master turns to the task at hand

a man creates a door by stepping through

the water flows lower, easy

people think of difference
regarding others
two shapes touch at edges,
wholes obscured at certain angles
one reflects
emptied of distinction

a reason for bleeding

the virtuous plants, the
universal wisdom of contingency
a light touch
on the bottom of the foot
truth seeking

I do not mean violence



slumped over I push through the contemplation of pain

an approach methodical, slowly building
there is something inside me that loves
something happiest in its return to the ocean

a brief point of articulation
a explanation of approach

toppling expectation
the fruit just means
legitimately oriented
toward social growth
or nothing other than the
pursuit of further knowledge

increasing what light is natural
increasing what is considerable
what light casts into view

track the meta movements
of the writing, of the direction
of the mind

the layers become empty bodies explained, touched, cast in the light of considered understanding

a different shape touched,

loathe to call it nature
presented as a reality, an I


cracked and silent, loud, cracked and resonating quietly in the background
stare into everybody, feels like commotion, you signaling changes, signifying changes
staring along the plane of a flat surface, like a table like a horizon
a few open stools around

I could be the doing, and all the people come out of nowhere, or they seem to, but the truth is that
the rhizome has been growing underground for centuries, and it’s every person standing outside,
their hair being whipped around
in the blustery New York November.

Here I am thinking about the first time I came here when I was 10, digging through bins of trinkets
in a shop in Greenwich Village, dropping my first cappuccino on the sidewalk and crying because
I’d felt so grown up until that moment I was violently jerked back
into childhood.
I am sitting in a familiar spot that feels like a spot I rode past on another trip here, many years later,
on a bike ride from Queens to Harlem, the same trip where I threw up on the floor of a subway car
at 4 am from drinking and I thought “This is New York”
as my friend shook his head, laughing at me.

It’s all at once.
It’s collapsing and expanding all at once.

Some time.
In a horoscope I read that I was deliberate, calculated, slow to act, but with a knack for knowing
when the time was right. I remember hoping that it was true.

the documentation is the memory
the documentation is the resulting conversation

Not so much
in public as
she was doing
in public space
a lot of movements
in front of

happened on its own.

I have to go
from here
to there
learn how
to read
by doing it.

I’m pointing at
if you lose that then
it’s falling apart.

elongated across time the thing remains recognizable until pushed to its absolute extreme
to speak as an expert, beat after beat, one gives a sense of knowledge compounded, layered by
an accumulation of anxiety

sitting in class next to an open window, regardless of my level of engagement in the discussion,
whenever a breeze hits I look out and for a moment
consider jumping

there’s no separation between us and not us
there’s no separation between us and abstraction

Kate Robinson is a poet and intermedia book artist from Oakland, CA where she co-curates the Manifest Reading and Workshop Series and creates artists’ books under the imprint Manifest Press. Her work has appeared in Slightly West, Blazevox, and Jupiter 88; and is housed in the special collections of SUNY, Buffalo. Kate has taught interdisciplinary/collaborative workshops at Evergreen State College, Mills College, California College of the Arts, and Oakland School for the Arts, and is the 2014 Mills College Book Art Teaching Fellow.