Ugly Duckling Presse


Amy Narneeloop

Poetry | $10 $7
Fall 2015
Buy"A window onto the tumultuous vectors of body regulation and maintenance"
Is the body an object? Do we own our bodies? When bodies are gendered and raced in public, when every skin tone, hairstyle, or limp is registered, can there be such a thing as a private body? Part of the ongoing sequence Inventory, Hair is the result of Amy Narneeloop’s investigation into the fluid boundary between the body and the ideas that surround it. Writing toward a more ephemeral self (remorse, shame, diagnosis, memories, experience of time) instead of writing around it, Narneeloop exploits the trope of the inventory to get closer to who she is, what she is, where she has been, and what has happened to her.Excerpt ˇ


These days it’s curly. Curlier on one side than the other, and much tighter curls in the back, and one small portion in the front, by my left ear the loosest curl of all, so if I want it to look the same length I need to get it cut regularly in several different lengths. Someone who knows how to cut curly HAIR will do this: cut it dry, then wash it, then cut it again, then dry it, then cut it again. Most people don’t know what they are doing and wash, cut, dry, then try to make it look okay. Curly HAIR will show up different every time it is washed unless it is permed and all the curls are the same. Curly HAIR is like telephone cords, going back and forth on itself, corkscrew and calipers, but we only have landlines in offices now, so soon I won’t be able to use that simile. I just cut the ragged parts of it myself when it’s really bad. I break down and get a haircut every five years or so, and they always cut too much off of it and I feel terrible for a few years and I swear I’ll never do it again. I want it to be really, really long. Down to my ASS. I don’t think it will happen, but I want it to.Close ˆ

About the Author

Amy Narneeloop
Amy Narneeloop is a writer from the San Francisco Bay Area. She has a MLIS from UCLA but she doesn't want to be a librarian anymore, so now she’s working on an MFA at SFSU in Fiction. She was the 2012 Academy of American Poets Harold Taylor Award winner. Hair is her first chapbook.

Advance Praise

“All Black people,” Amy Narneeloop writes, “can spot a mixed child with a white mother. The pathetic HAIR gives us away.” In these bold and vulnerable poems, Narneeloop opens a window onto the tumultuous vectors of body regulation and maintenance. What an ingenious idea for a book, the catalogue of one woman’s parts—and what a Homeric epic Narneeloop makes from it. —Dodie Bellamy