Monday 30 March 2020

From Fahima Ife

4 Feb - 12 March 2020

Aw, my stay in Paris! It was so easy to write in the 6ême. I came here to revise my first book, a blended work of three long poems and an essay. In the first week, I was so continuously called by the night, that I wrote an entire new stream of poems! In the second week I received the entire form of what will become my second book and feverishly followed its call. At the beginning of my third week I finished manipulating, reworking, listening to, and compiling everything in my first book. I cried for having made my way through. 

My daily ritual—I woke to a cool morning gray or blue, had a cup of jasmine green tea (or cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger tea), looked out the window, listened to “Suiren,” from Pauline Oliveros’ album Deep Listening, read an essay by Mary Ruefle from Madness, Rack, and Honey (or an essay written by Fred Moten, Susan Sontag, Édouard Glissant, or Jacques Derrida), read poems from Layli Long Soldier’s Whereas or Dionne Brand’s Ossuaries, wrote in my journal, wrote poems (and non-poems), made meals for myself, talked with people I love in the States. In the time in between writing and sleeping, I went on many walks: back-and-forth to Les Nouveaux Robinson on Cherche-Midi for groceries, to Marché Raspail on Sundays for organic produce (and to talk with new friends), to The Red Wheelbarrow bookstore, to Jardin du Luxembourg (to hear the trees), and on and on. 

Even though I had to leave two weeks early due to the coronavirus pandemic, I am more grateful than gratitude for this experience.