To: All Staff
From: Committee on Gender Equality
Subject: Pink Abstraction
Art is an information problem—snow on the roof pink as a woman—lemons seem to be attracting fatty fish—FOR SAFETY BRIEFCASE ALL FISH—the artist will be omitted—our metal, antennas, & tools will be built into the octopus—due to weather your bushes will be omitted—the pink woman climbs out of the bathtub—in every telephone pole we preserve our culture—on the roof she is the snow—pink will be omitted—pitchforks will be provided—you will remove excess women as needed—we need nothing but to walk into nowhere—we preserve our culture—remember to maintain a cheerful amarillo—yellow.
Kodi Saylor received her MFA in poetry at New York University where she was a Lillian Vernon Fellow. Her poems have appeared in Lime Hawk and Blue Mesa Review. She currently works at Newman Library at Virginia Tech.
Artist’s Statement from Kodi Saylor:
I work in an academic office setting. These poems were written while awash in the kinds of language I write and receive. Language in the office often makes me feel estranged. Erasure & remix played a large role in the creation of these poems which are part of a larger series. As a librarian, I spend a lot of time thinking about information and how people interact with information, and as a poet, I think about how language is and is not information and how humans use information and language as tools of power. “Subject: Pink Abstraction” refers to Pink Abstraction which is a Georgia O’Keeffe painting, but also draws on a list of tools from a book published to teach English to French speakers. For the other poem “Wave & Tidal Generation Devices”, I borrowed the title from a book about alternative energy sources that I bumped into while doing collection development. That poem draws on alternative energy source imagery but also imagery from something called The Power Deck: Cards of Wisdom, which is something I grew up with and still have in my house. Wrapping all these strands together into a memo format creates a drama about labor and gender and how they function within the banality of everyday working life.