Cordite Books


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Read Divya Victor's introduction to Koel.

ISBN: 9780994259684

Jen Crawford

I wrote most of this book on campus in Singapore, surrounded by a ring of jungle that couldn’t encroach as fast as it was being thinned out. The circles and mosses of that location tilt and transect others – Auckland, Bicol, an empty Bangkok penthouse, and somewhere else, entirely see-through. It seemed important to be as close to sleep as possible, so I closed windows and wore headphones. Not to shut things out or make them stranger, but to soften and modulate the tensions of exchange.

In Bangkok, excavators swim up and down the canals. They float on barges and scoop themselves through the water. The water pools and resists, carrying places to places on its way.

In the ‘epoch of simultaneity’ not all spaces are equally accessible to thought or description. Rituals of immersion, of the maze and the gate, may not open anything but the body’s ability to accumulate and to disperse, to be near and far, here and there. Memory, presence and imagination fold and run together. I was looking for gaps to step through, for ways both forward and back.

–Jen Crawford