Paisley Rekdal up next at ABR series

  • Why Some Girls Love Horses

  • By Paisley RekdalAnd then I thought, Can I have more

    of this, would it be possible

    for every day to be a greater awakening: more light,

    more light, your face on the pillow

    with the sleep creases rudely

    fragmenting it, ...

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  • Why Some Girls Love Horses

    By Paisley RekdalAnd then I thought, Can I have more

    of this, would it be possible

    for every day to be a greater awakening: more light,

    more light, your face on the pillow

    with the sleep creases rudely

    fragmenting it, hair so stiff

    from paint and sheet rock it feels

    like the dirty short hank

    of mane I used to grab on Dandy's neck

    before he hauled me up and forward,

    white flanks flecked green

    with sh-- and the satin of his dander,

    the livingness, the warmth

    of all that blood just under the skin

    and in the long, thick muscle of the neck-

    He was smarter than most of the children

    I went to school with. He knew

    how to stand with just the crescent

    of his hoof along a boot toe and press,

    incrementally, his whole weight down. The pain

    so surprising when it came,

    its iron intention sheathed in stealth, the decisive

    sudden twisting of his leg until the hoof

    pinned one's foot completely to the ground,

    we'd have to beat and beat him with a brush

    to push him off, that hot

    insistence with its large horse eye trained

    deliberately on us, to watch-

    Like us, he knew how to announce through violence

    how he didn't hunger, didn't want

    despite our practiced ministrations: too young

    not to try to empathize

    with this cunning: this thing

    that was and was not human we must respect

    for itself and not our imagination of it: I loved him because

    I could not love him anymore

    in the ways I'd taught myself,

    watching the slim bodies of teenagers

    guide their geldings in figure eights around the ring

    as if they were one body, one fluid motion

    of electric understanding I would never feel

    working its way through fingers to the bit: this thing

    had a name, a need, a personality; it possessed

    an indifference that gave me

    logic and a measure: I too might stop wanting

    the hand placed on back or shoulder

    and never feel the desired response.

    I loved the horse for the pain it could imagine

    and inflict on me, the sudden jerking

    of head away from halter, the tentative nose

    inspecting first before it might decide

    to relent and eat. I loved

    what was not slave or instinct, that when you turn to me

    it is a choice, it is always a choice to imagine pleasure

    might be blended, one warmth

    bleeding into another as the future

    bleeds into the past, more light, more light,

    your hand against my shoulder, the image

    of the one who taught me disobedience

    is the first right of being alive.

  • IF YOU GO

  • • WHAT: Paisley Rekdal, ABR Fall Reading Series

    • WHEN: Noon Thursday

    • WHERE: Alcorn Auditorium, University West, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St.

    •  COST: Free

  • ABR FALL LINEUP:

  • Mat Johnson - Oct. 10

    Johnson is author of the novels "Pym," "Drop" and "Hunting in Harlem," the nonfiction novella "The Great Negro Plot;" and the comic books "Incognegro" and "Dark Rain." He frequently writes about race and culture issues.

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  • ABR FALL LINEUP:

    Mat Johnson - Oct. 10

    Johnson is author of the novels "Pym," "Drop" and "Hunting in Harlem," the nonfiction novella "The Great Negro Plot;" and the comic books "Incognegro" and "Dark Rain." He frequently writes about race and culture issues.

    Norma Cantú - Nov. 8

    Cantú publishes pieces about a number of academic subjects, as well as poetry and fiction. She specializes in Latina and Latino literatures, Chicana and Chicano literatures, border studies, folklore, women's studies and creative writing.

    Jake Adam York - Nov. 29

    York is the author of three books of poems: "Murder Ballads," winner of the 2005 Elixir Press Prize in Poetry; "A Murmuration of Starlings," winner of the 2009 Colorado Book Award in Poetry; and "Persons Unknown."

Paisley Rekdal's writing is sort of like that Björk song you can't get out of your head.

It's not the writing or the beat that sticks with you, it's the scene that stays - that moment that you've sat through before.

The award-winning author is able to deliver a strong, intimate scene in a mere 20 words or less.

Rekdal will give a reading at the University of Houston-Victoria's Alcorn Auditorium at noon Thursday.

At the reading, Rekdal said she hopes to incorporate a pecha-kucha style presentation of her book "Intimate."

"You get 20 slides and you get 20 seconds for each slide," Rekdal said. "It's such a hard book to read straight from, so I figured if I did a pecha-kucha, people would get a real sense of what the book is about."

Despite her Chinese and Norwegian ethnic background, the author said she considers herself mono-cultured.

"I've had a lot of experience living in both Asia and America," Rekdal said. "I'm very American, which is one of those things living in Asia teaches you very quickly."

The associate professor of English said her own hybridity has shaped the way she looks at the elements in her writing.

"It's a certain kaleidoscopic presence that you have," Rekdal said. "Your appearance is always changing."

In her book, "The Night my Mother Met Bruce Lee," Paisley wrote about teaching English in South Korea and a visit she took to Taipei with her mother.

Rekdal said she was constantly asked about her background because her ethnically ambiguous appearance.

"It's funny being a litmus test for other people's ideas of nationality and race," Rekdal said. "It's kind of exhausting but I have to say I sort of think of it as a gift."