Becky Jennings

Some Obsessions End
monoprint on black paper with prismacolor pencil

The visual piece “Some Obsessions End” began with this poem, which I wrote years before:

The Way Scraps Make Quilts

There must come a time
when poem-making expands
beyond tragedies of my heart,
carefully written pages
of journal-keeping
plummeted from cliffs
in search of new sounds.
Some obsessions end
or get reworked
the way scraps make quilts.
There is not much anger left
that has not been counted or caged;
I grow as patient as the Leakeys
squatting in an old place.

“Some Obsessions End” chronicles the obsession with being loved by the Other—the one who counts, the one who is not us. In this piece I recall the life-and-death quality that “He loves me, he loves me not” once held (a fantasy game in which we destroyed flowers petal by petal). I try to express the nearly autistic repetition of longing that I once chanted over so many beds, scrawled in so many notebooks…. Only the long and continuing process of comprehending my own betrayals, reclaiming my own body, and restoring my own ground has worn this obsession to scraps, a part of my self that I carry forward, but as part of a much more tender, compassionate patchwork of being.

© Becky Jennings