Ugly Duckling Presse

distance decay
distance decay

Cathy Eisenhower

Poetry | $16 $14
Fall 2015
Buy"Rife with elliptical magic & profound intelligence"
Tangling the language of social-scientific investigations of rape, media constructions of perpetrators and victims, and autobiographical memory, distance decay moves through that linguistic (and conceptual) mess via disclosure and even lyric. In attempts to come to literal terms with the experience of rape, the book establishes a play/ground in language for personal, historical emotion through personality theory and affective genealogies. Excerpt ˇ


When you are not raging me, I am not considering not raging you.

From want of speechlessness and also from being in it.

What my structure is is this loom toward analysis.

If staring wild at vector shadows launched from a live source of mouth light
can extract loving heads that nuzzle from inside the body walls,
then what else could it possibly fucking want.

Whose mind has entered a man as hands full of diffident countries, font-shaped.

It holds lament patiently in its arrows.

This is the way we eyes clear the entering.

But the more I make of force as peer, the stranger I am dreamt.

That I belong to it of body-colored ink, a mineral year.

I try to be discursive. Miraculous.Close ˆ

About the Author

Cathy Eisenhower

Cathy Eisenhower lives and works as a therapist in Washington, DC, and is the author of Language of the Dog-heads (Phylum 2001), clearing without reversal (Edge 2008), and would with and (Roof 2009). She is co-translating the selected poems of Argentine poet Diana Bellessi and co-curated the In Your Ear Reading Series for several years. Her work has recently appeared in The Recluse, Aufgabe, West Wind Review, The Brooklyn Rail, and Fence.

Advance Praise

Acts of violence, such as rape, are all-consuming narratives—“a vast face” as Cathy Eisenhower says at the beginning of distance decay. She then proceeds to take hold of the rape experience by utilizing a rare definition of “redact”—to draw up, to frame. The frames she constructs portray the rape experience broadly—beyond the individual—to include aspects of our culture and our history, and then she whittles the memories of her rape into various shapes and sizes—“candling, a public alone/pulling off the little part”.Eisenhower does not “pull a Romantic” by faking a victory over the experience of being raped. Instead, she demonstrates how one continues to move through fragmented experience—and endure: “as I sit and breathe grow mode rate as I sit and breathe keep coming back and saying that and touching gently the saying of it back”.—Tina Darragh
Praise for previous work:

Cathy Eisenhower's premonitions are rife with elliptical magic & profound intelligence "as a day is, repeatedly lifted." would with and ignites my love for poetry & makes me want to make more of it: “think (that) you speak along the tongue telling nothing."
—Carol Mirakove