Contexts by Rachel Nagelberg

it’s not enough  occurrences have origins  do
know what I’m saying?  a story is a corpse until
architecture is apparent  it’s never enough
there is
no “present”  you know there are proven
where the future determines the past  sometimes I
nostalgia for circumstances that haven’t
bright AM light  caffeine chest aflutter  still
dreams  a swollen stomach— a lightness
like an invisible hand that if touched could
allow total
forgetting  to be free becomes not the illusion
of choice
but total annihilation  where you are from is
to me  how and where you spend your time  it
gives me
the building blocks to form a map of then to
San Franciscans don’t subscribe to these kind of
questions  perhaps that’s why body parts are
in suitcases in gentrified neighborhoods at 11 AM
that’s just one example  (the horror of the every
there is a man who drags around a human-sized
goat attached to a golf caddie  once at a bus
stop late
at night I asked him to tell me the goat story as
if there
was an easy then to now goat narrative that
could have
been orated in the three minutes before my bus
as if the stuffed goat was a symbol  and the man
was an
archetype  and the city was a curtain that
could be
lifted to reveal  a scaffolding that made sense—
YOU’RE NOT A TRUE ARTIST he screamed at me(this is a true story) and then he called me
as I boarded the bus in tears  this was my




Rachel Nagelberg is primarily a fiction writer based out of San Francisco. Recently she began listening to the wondrous albeit often disturbing calls of the poetic form, and has finally found a venue in which to explore sickness and the body with her ever-beloved tools of language and philosophical thought.

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