Sabrina Orah Mark Writes Into Brokenness

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Writer and poet. Sabrina or a mark likes to describe her stories as having little poems folded up inside of them. She publishes monthly essays loosely based on motherhood and fairytales in the literary journal the paris review. Here's the opening of her november essay. You break it. We fix it. I am inside. you break it. We fix it holding my son shattered. I-ipad hello i call out. No one answers. The counter glows white and the walls are empty. Hello hello. I wait a few minutes before calling out again. One minute says a raspy voice from the back of the store hopes swells in my chest. Here we comes. We will fix said i hold up the broken screen so we can see it on a little shard of glass. Trump's the floor with a plank. Yeah we says you know what i ask. We says the soldering work required would more than a new ipad. We says it would take weeks possibly months. Sabrina began writing this essay in the weeks leading up to the presidential election. She published it after the election when the sitting president and a large percentage of his allies still refused to accept the decisive results. Oh the next week. I returned. You break it. We fix it with a whole entire country. It's heavy but i managed to carry it through the parking lot leaving behind a trail of seeds in the crisp sent of democracy and something that smells like blood or dirt across. It is a growing crack. A trial too young to be alone is out in front holding a broken country to store is gone out of business as the child. I shift the country to one arm and tried appear in. But it's shuddered and dark. Told you says the child out of business. I text my husband. You break it we fix. It is closed. I've come here for nothing again. The texture of sabrina 's essays is a rich. We've of fairytales politics. The past and her children's voices. Sabrina joins us for the fourth. In our four part series on creativity in the global pandemic. We started off talking about how she's managing to find the time to write with two young kids. At home she drew parallels between the ways that motherhood and quarantine have shaped her creative process right now. we're home schooling. And so there's this. I mean it's it's it's a packed house like twenty four seven and there is like the endless ness of like of things everywhere and snacks and then trying to ride. And then you know I do feel like. I've been working harder than i've ever worked in my entire life like you know since march like because you just have to grab the pieces of time where you can find it. It was funny because i was homeschooling. You know all day long like all day and at one point i just it was like from four to five i just i climbed into my bed and just like sat there with like staring at a wall at five o'clock my signs come into my room and they're like you forgot about us like what do you mean i forgot about you like how could i forget like it was like a whole hour went by you know like where i wasn't just right i was. Yeah you write about your kids a lot and their voices creep into your writing sometimes in unexpected ways. Which is one of the things that i really love about your writing so just to back up a little bit. You've said that after you had children the form that you're writing took changed after. I had kids. Is i think in many ways like i became more porous like i allowed. I had to allow more of the world and and it was right around that time where In many ways my prose poems started sort of growing and growing and growing part of it was just time. Because i couldn't like live inside of a single poem. I used to write these prose poems. In the instance of lake hermetically sealed likes Boxes and spaces of time. And i couldn't do that anymore after i had kids. And so would sort of just keep returning and returning and returning to my writing and then it would kind of get bigger and longer and stranger and more porous and there was more interruptions and then in many ways my palm started turning into stories and then with these essays. Even more of the world's i think started coming in And i really believe in some crossing. John rouse and having things blurb because i do think that you know fiction will leak into reality and reality leaks into affection and i don't really believe in like you know the the strict border between between john or as For myself creatively lake. I need to sort of move back and forth in that fluid way. It's really interesting that you connect that with having children. Yeah i used to be able to like work in these. These of yeah on interrupted Spaces and then the interruptions actually ended up really feeling like like a gift you know. And that's sort of something. I've been thinking a lot lately. Just you know inside of a. You know these last seven months of That that in certain ways like a lot what we lose often. You know We gain in these other places Like i'm trying really hard to find those places where like the thing that feels like a loss is not really a loss. And i'll give you an example like i'm teaching A class in poland's on on zoom and one of my students is disabled and she was talking about how you know. Normally these students are all Brought onto a university campus in the states and in a millionaire. She never would have been able to participate in this program. And she said you know Your captivity like when the world's closed for you the world opened up for the first time for me. And i would never have been able to meet her otherwise i would never have been able to know her and know her writing and hear her voice and mike see her. You know and when i moved all of my classes that i teach online. I thought like oh god. I don't wanna teach these workshops online. I love sort of the intimacy of the classroom that i've created an ideal but i think that like i held onto this idea of how things are supposed to be all of the time like so intensely that had i not been forced into this like other space. I would never have known this. You know what. I wasn't seeing Like why did i ever offered classes online before thinking about like you know people who for a million different reasons like wouldn't be able to get semi to a classroom. It was like the perfect moment of like what we loses. What we gain

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