Joanne Diaz poetry "When I wrote these poems, I was thinking about the nature of pain and its remedies. In `Linnaeus's Patient,' I focus on a chapter in the life of Carl Linnaeus, who treated gonorrhea patients in a small village in Sweden for a short time in his youth. In the eighteenth century it was common to treat gonorrhea with a mercury ointment. That severe cure made me think about the paradox of shattering the body's systems with toxic chemicals in order to restore them. I wrote `Syringe' as part of that same exploration of pain. The etymology for syringe allowed me to imagine nerves, plant life and dreams as various parts of a larger whole. "The other two poems in the feature are less about pain and more about the ecstasy of leaving the body. In `Afternoon, Córdoba,' I wanted to convey the sense of sex as a promise of transformation. `Moon Jellies' was inspired by a visit to an aquarium, where I saw visitors press their hands and faces to the glass to watch the jellyfish drift in and out of view. The scene reminded me of Daphne's transformation from woman to laurel tree: her
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 29, 2007
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