Trauma Head is a chapbook I made to keep my hands busy while I wait for my second book of poetry, Tunica Intima, to come out this spring. Trauma Head is a collection of poems and concrete interventions in the medical file. In fact, the binding IS a medical file.
I used the graphs, charts, reports and info from my treatment for vertebral artery dissection and stroke as one part of the content. The other is the poems, explorations and word games that are related to the events in Tunica Intima but not suited to the more formal long poem format.
This is the “b-side” of the album.
Lately, it has been satisfying to make things with my hands. Tunica Intima is all cut-and-paste, produced entirely on photocopiers with Sharpies, double-sided tape, transparencies, and scissors. I liked the tension between the reproduced high tech MRI scans and the analog process. You’ll notice my slanted scissor skills, the gaps between paste jobs. More than intentional this is unavoidable, and a reminder that no matter how machine-driven we become we remain softly human.
Ultimately, what does all the advanced technological testing reveal? How advanced are we? What can we know without touching?
Trauma Head has an ISBN (Otter Press) but I’ve only made 50 copies, which I will probably sell one by one.
Thank you to Ali Blythe for taking these photos of the beautiful afternoon he helped me bind it. Ali has the first copy and we made sure to use the appropriate alphabetical labels, BLY, on the edge. Mine has my initials, EKG, on it.
I’m hoping to personalize each copy for the purchaser but like Scrabble tiles, the labels come in stacked quantities.
UPDATE: Here are photos from the launch! The grapes are from Lindsay’s Strathcona patio! Thanks for the photos, Dina!