WHAT YOU THINK OF ME
STASI AND THE PLAYWRIGHT
I order an outline of you: dash
I place myself inside and x
which part of her you kiss first.
I know you. Am trained
I can't say when I started
it would be gone. Winter averages:
You want to know, on average, how much
Tonight you read her
Now out of sight: doorways, edges, verge.
subside. Over and over till the mind clears,
My voice, soft and caught; crinoline-
the pilot's still lit. Hiccough of thought.
On STASI AND THE PLAYWRIGHT: Initially inspired by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's film, The Lives of Others, I wrote this poem after researching the Stasi, East Germany's secret police force during the rule of the Socialist Unity Party. I was struck by the particular attention the Stasi paid to artists and writers in the fear they would create art that undermined the Party's ideals.
On DOLL: The Quick Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria defines compulsions as behaviors aimed at preventing or reducing distress or preventing some dreaded event. (The Quick Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria of DSM-IV-TR. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association, 2000.)