FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Elisa Gabbert & Kathleen Rooney
I say sexy is a state of mind, but what are mottos to such a visual society?
But what are emotions? “Sadness” is just a particular mind-brain state
But what are the terms of the “negotiation” between artist and audience?
I have so many dreams, but what are dreams worth? Nothing
In diegesis, a narrator tells a story, but what are diegetics to people who prefer
We’re going to hell in a handbasket but what are handbaskets, anyway?
I know that’s called a flying buttress, but what are those swirly things on the moulding?
But what are faces that freeze that way?
I’ve been convicted of illegally holding them, but what are state secrets?
You’re all adorable, but what are you?
When I tell you to consider the world at a molecular level, don’t you dare go “But
what are molecules?”
And, in addition, but what are the smaller parts inside?
But what are a big mouth and bad manners to someone so rich?
But what are constellations, if not facial recognition on an astral scale?
A MIND OF WINTER
In the dead of winter, there’s an atmosphere of weary contingency
When you kill a man in the dead of winter, his screams don’t carry as far
Gapers’ delays are worse in winter
I met him in the dead of winter, and by spring considered him an enemy
Moving back and forth between good and alright is a decent way to feel in the dead of
It can’t be the dead of winter if it’s technically not even winter yet
Ice clinking in glasses, the smell of smoke—sensations elucidate themselves sharply
The dead of winter is a fine time to reevaluate your life
Do not sully the snow in the dead of winter
What’s the opposite of the dead of winter?
Please hold your questions until the dead of winter
I don’t know about you but I find the dead of winter romantic
Much of the best unintentional comedy occurs in winter
In the dead of winter, Whitman and Emerson went walking, the latter suggesting
the former remove a few of the more licentious sections from Leaves of Grass
My outlook has less texture in the dead of winter
They don’t call it the dead of winter for nothing
We become savage voyeurs in winter
We’ve decided on Dead of Winter, a slightly grayish white
We have been collaborating on poems since 2006, composing back and forth entirely over email, never in person. Typically, our collaborations are driven by a formal constraint. In the case of these poems, which we are calling "Nealons," after the poet Christopher Nealon who inspired the form, we picked a single phrase to repeat over and over in every single line.