Laura Broadbent

Montreal-based publishing entity Metatron is guest editing Everyday Genius this month. We'll be featuring excerpts from our new fall catalog as well as Canadian writers we like. Today's author is the wise, intelligent and emotionally complicated Laura Broadbent.

A Posthumous Interview with Clarice Lispector [Excerpt]

What do you mean when you say “I?”

If I say “I” it’s because I don’t dare say “you” or “we” or “a person,” I am the you—are.
I’m behind thought.
Don’t try to classify me, I simply slip away not leaving, categories pin me down no longer.
When I’m alive I tremble all over.
I’m not lying—my truth sparkles like the prism of a crystal chandelier.
Renouncing my name, I go beyond myself.
I don’t want to ask why.
Ancient cockroaches drag themselves along in the half-light and all this am I, 
here I am, the cave and I, in the time that will rot us.
I have courage because of long suffering from the hell of love but now I am heroically free. 
And I want the flowing.
I am before
I am almost
I am never
I don’t think just as the diamond doesn’t think. I shine, totally clear.
I let the freed horse run wildly.
I become full and unintelligible.
I’m the what.
I exceed my limits and only then do I exist and then in a feverish way.
God help me, I die so much.
I’m the center of something that shouts and surges forth.
I know what I’m doing here—I’m counting the instances that drip and are thick with blood.
I know what I’m doing here, I’m improvising.
I go ahead intuitively without looking for an idea.
I exceed myself by abdicating myself and then I am the world.
I want the profound organic disorder that triggers the underlying order.
I want the experience of a lack of structure.
I don’t like what I’ve just written but I’m forced to accept the whole passage 
because it happened to me and I respect very much what I cause to happen to myself.
What I do by involuntary instinct cannot be described. Ugliness is my battle standard.
I love the ugly with a passion.
I delight in the difficult harmony of harsh contrasts.
Where am I going? The answer simply is: I’m going.
I’ll make myself until I reach the core.
I’m ready to die and form many new compositions.
I am going to sleep so I can dream.
Sharp love—slow swoon, what I definitely am not is rationality.
I have a certain fear of myself, I’m not to be trusted, and I distrust my false power.
I’m not frightened anymore.
Let me speak, alright?
I have a deep anonymity, one that no one has ever touched.

[What is there between never and always that links them so indirectly and so intimately? At the root of everything there’s the hallelujah. You who read me help me to be born.]

Marvelous scandal I am born.
I is. 

Laura Broadbent is the author of Interviews (Metatron, 2014) and Oh There You Are I Can't See You Is It Raining? (Snare Books, 2012), which won the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry in 2012. She lives in Montreal.

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