Repetition is a poetic memoir of a daughter’s grief after her father’s death, as told to a loved one. These meditative prose poems journey through Paris, New York, and Berlin on bike rides “to watch the tower sparkle in the distance” and on walks “past the zoo in the dark, the animals calling.” Paul Celan and Gertrude Stein accompany the daughter through her grief until the speaker can finally say, “it’s enough—you can go now.”
An excerpt from “Repetition [Le Monde Irréel]” from Repetition:
If I kept moving I could stay above it. If I kept running it could not pull me down into it. And so began the night rides through Paris. I bought an old Dutch bike that I loved more than anything I have ever owned [I love it still], and began to ride through the streets at night to make myself tired so I could sleep. I would ride for miles—first to the Eiffel Tower and back along the quais of the Seine. I would time the ride so as to arrive at the Pont Neuf on the hour to watch the tower sparkle in the distance [every hour on the hour], then continue along the dark Seine to the tower itself, to stand below it as it rained light like sparks [étincelles]. I felt so lucky to be there with the light raining down on me. A tour bus driver smoking by his bus said, Pas mal, huh and we smiled at each other.