White Whale Review: An Online Literary Magazine Untitled Document
WHITE WHALE REVIEW
Anne Gorrick
Anne Gorrick is a poet and visual artist. She is the author of A's Visuality (BlazeVOX Books, 2015), I-Formation (Book 2) (Shearsman Books, Bristol, UK, 2012), I-Formation (Book 1) (Shearsman, 2010), and Kyotologic (Shearsman, 2008). She collaborated with artist Cynthia Winika to produce a limited edition artists’ book, “Swans, the ice,” she said, funded by the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She has also co-edited (with poet Sam Truitt) In|Filtration: An Anthology of Innovative Writing from the Hudson River Valley (Station Hill Press, 2016). She curates the reading series Cadmium Text, which focuses on innovative writing from in and around New York’s Hudson Valley. She also co-curates the electronic poetry journal Peep/Show with poet Lynn Behrendt, which is a “taxonomic exercise in textual and visual seriality.” Images of her visual art can be found here.

Featured Work
Loading...
Subscribe to RSS     Share

Anne Gorrick

In a past life they were

 

 

“Oh look, I was one of the good Nazis who tried to assassinate Hitler! Ich bin ein Berliner!”

In a past life I was the kooky office manager who has a candy dish on her desk that reads

“Desserts” is “stressed” spelled backwards

She was a corrupt Empress

who hoarded her gold and laughed merrily

as the people perished outside her palace doors

A person with weight control issues

may find that in a past life they were close to starvation

In a past life were we jelly doughnuts?

We are tiger otherkin

Although we may not be on speaking terms anymore

I still embrace everything

I lean toward birth marks

 

I was taught to say: “Takes one to know one”

I was taught to say "I have got a mother/father/sister/cat"

I was taught to say that I am worth X amount

I was taught to say formal prayers

I was taught to say, "Could you please pass" this or that

and to wait for the item to be passed to me

We were never to reach over someone to retrieve it

[....]


Anne Gorrick

Let's say, for example, that a client is having trouble marketing themselves actively because

in a past life, they were a successful businessperson

They were welcoming + warm + kind + fun

A client suffering with asthma might find that in a past life

they were killed in a gas chamber

Specifically this means they were on the side of the

Germans, Italians, Japanese, Rumanians, Bulgarians, Finns or Croats

Do you think it's possible that people are gay because in a past life they were of the opposite sex?

A person suffering from severe eczema may discover that in a past life they were burnt to death

 

I was taught to say it. I'm from New Jersey, but my family is from Fitchburg and Braintree

I was taught to say and sing it

I was taught to say, “Every Saturday morning I watched cartoons with a bowl of Frosted Flakes”

I was taught to say the last letter of the alphabet in the country I'm from

I was taught to say “amen” and “I've read of bloody hands and incorruptibles”

I was taught to say, “Na konya,” a Cossack toast, meaning “on to the horse”

 

We follow Sophie and Adrian

as they deal with the fact that in a past life

they were Persephone and Hades

[....]


Anne Gorrick

but their story is much different

In a past life they were a crows in a folded forest

I was burned to death for public speaking

It turns out that in a past life they were married

they were Prince Endymion of Earth and Princess Serenity of the Moon

Desperately in love, they we're torn apart by war and chaos

That doesn't mean that in a past life

they were members of the Germanic peoples

who ruled England from the fifth century BC

It's tempting to think you can just take up where you left off

The person was most likely a medical practitioner in a past life

They were detailed, organized, precise

 

I was taught to say it that way in Pony Club

I was taught to say “I feel nauseous”

I was taught to say Strike Three – NOT  ̶  Strike Three You're Out

I was taught to say “fake it” in Latin

I was taught to say “talk to”

I was taught to say "the lights of the car" or "the title of the movie"

Whenever I see the death of a person, I was taught to say "Inna ilahi wa inna ileyhi raajioon"

I was taught to say “I've had an elegant sufficiency, thank you”

I was taught to say it as "fur"

 

[....]


Anne Gorrick

I think in a past life you were either a dress or a skirt

as you were already sewn at the edges and hemmed

Sewing: vintage gnome shirt. | Clean

In a past life they competed with my client

In a past life they were slave owning aristocrats during early Roman times

But, you know, the good kind of slave owners

Literary critics may dismiss this as merely a literary device

but in a past life they were conjoined twins in a circus

I'm pretty sure I was Japanese 

In a past life they were gold colored

and a friend gave them to me painted black

I used them like that for years and now I wanted them red

I think they were models in a past life – they were just so easy to photograph, they were vulnerable & showed emotion in front of the camerae.

 

I was taught to say "lubkies" (aka Slovak cabbage rolls)

I was taught to say, a e i o u, and sometimes w and y

I was taught to say

“St. Anthony, St. Anthony, won't you look around?

Something's been lost and needs to be found”

Do you pronounce the first “r” when you say “February?”

To make a letter “V”, I was taught to say

"Dit dit dit dah. Hedy Lamar. Dit dit dit dah. Hedy Lamar. Dit dit dit dah. Hedy Lamar"

[....]


Anne Gorrick

I was taught to say this each time I finished chopping a radish

I was taught to say "kanu pidi vecchen, kaka pidi vecchen, kakKum kutivikkum kalyanam"

I was taught to say, “I am nothing, I know nothing”

 

A common Scientologist find is that in a past life they were a Nazi

In a past life we were ready to wear

we were sent to dragon worlds

in wool blankets, a cashmere sweaters

In a past life we were kid detectives together

leaving our beautiful ecumenopolis of Athens, Ga; a form of space travel

In a past life they were damaged

You can easily determine they were parcel cages for packaging

I even saw a balcony, fenced little windows clearly broken

Both of them saw five tigers dying of starvation

He's out mowing his lawn one day, she's playing with her Slip 'N Slide — and when their eyes lock

they realize that in a past life they were in a past life

They were all painted 'olive drab'

We resort to different animals to atone for our sin

There is no way to tell if your kid is cancerous because you have offended God personally

or because in a past life they were the Marquis de Sade

[....]


Anne Gorrick

I was taught to say the negative first and then the positive

I was taught to say this, in various situations, virtually from birth

and it worked like a charm until people turned into slapdicks

I was taught to say “check” on the king

With beginners, I will announce that their queen is about to be taken

I was taught to say “Treble” and I always abbreviate it “tr”

How to prevent yourself from sneezing?  I was taught to say "watermelon"

I was taught to say "Ahnt", but often said ANT

“Roof” can be pronounced two ways  ̶  the same goes for “vase”

I don't know where I'm "from"

when I say “Chinese knockoff”

 

In a past life we were "x" animals, amputees

We were car license plates, hubcaps and fenders, woodcarver’s knives

An 'electronic incident' may refer to some form of brain washing

In a past life they rode in ambulances

In a past life they were very, very unattractive

They were bulky but wearable

They were the front rollers on a wheelchair

in a past life she was a gladiator-who was attacked by a lion and killed

she was an idiot-savant microsurgery tech

she was the 20-year-old crippled daughter of poor parents who could not look after her and had her killed

[....]


Anne Gorrick

in a past life she was chased across a meadow, raped and dismembered. It made her terrified of open spaces

In a past life she was a brain photographer in Berlin

In a past life, she was known as Doña Bella or Belladonna and in love with the man known as Seamus

"In a past life she was a my little pony"

Few know that in a past life she was a drag queen or a cat or an amusement park employee

in a past life she was a dark elf fighting hobbits and the small child who attempted to color on the walls in my office, L’il Kim, or Mohammed Ali

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © Anne Gorrick. White Whale Review, issue 8.1


Previous Author Prev Next Author