Question & Answer 2 – Elizabeth Scanlon

Question 2

The clouds are in the cornfields today
and I’m still counting the letters I receive
every time I dream of my mother. There
are always submarines, shades of regret,
and artificial sand, and me climbing into
the litter box to escape the claustrophobia.
I am not sure I am worth an award. Do you
ever celebrate yourself? Sing your own body
electric? I am still awake and still asleep
and now I have read the words pasted to the
walls, and they tell me my father will phone
today, but only to tell me it was an accident.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 2

Most celebrations make me a little uneasy –
weddings, graduations, the occasional bris –
each seem to hold the promise of some affiliation
I’m not sure I can fulfill, a reckoning
of worth that makes all the to-do called for,
and/or come with a big bar bill. Though I do
like to throw a party, especially the inviting part,
the part where you say come on,
come through, there’s going to be a dance-off,
a piñata, some recklessness, some ridiculousness
and it won’t be any fun without you. I like to host.
Is that the opposite of self-aggrandizement, or its pinnacle?

– Elizabeth Scanlon