The Passionate Shepherdess to Her Love

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The Passionate Shepherdess to Her Love

Natalie Stein

 

 

I will love you like making bread out of the sourdough starter fed from the years of the black death plague that I ordered online, like think of all the hands that loved that bread,

moving across it like growing out of it, sped up to 1000 HPS thats hands per second-- I will love you like those hands love the bread, like the plague loved to lay bodies--

like every microbe from that sort of landscape, from what I know to be posies, salt fish, and coral buckles loved-- like yeast feeds on other yeast-- I will

love you like that, l will love you like saving my lock screen as a picture of you on a bench, with your shoelaces too white-- I will love your shoelaces--

I will love you like never telling you about the dream where you put my hand in hot wax, moving across it like growing out of it, sped up to 1000 HPS--

thats hands per second-- I will love you like hands love wax-- thats skin to skin- I will love you like knitting my hair into your hat- I will love you like spitting our cherry

pits out the car window, love like applying for bread, which is always a lottery-- I will love you like that, like peeing at the Met, from that sort of landscape, from what I know to be industrial plumbing, the Denial of Saint Peter and Gudea’s wool hat

 


 
“...borders between the historical and the present are very fine, and not very solid.”

Bread (baked from ancient sourdough starter) by Natalie Stein

Interview by L. Valena

First, please just describe what you responded to.

I responded to a painting of a woman, and she's surrounded with bread and plants.

What was your first reaction to that?

I think I was really drawn to the visual imagery- the symbolism of the bread and the things she was holding.

Where did it go from there?

I focused on what those things meant to me, personally. I think a lot of this project is about a sense of mythology and hearsay. I thought about the tradition of old, archaic poetry and maybe what it would sound like if it held up. I think that was kind of it, but also using my own personal mythology.

You know, I've never ever considered the whole spoken word tradition as being connected to this project. It's amazing how much has been passed down through interpretation of the spoken word. Can you tell me more about your own personal mythology, and where it fits here?

Actually, the tradition of making bread is important to me. I've been using different sourdough bread starters, and so I talk about the starters that have been kept alive from the black plague, and looking at that as an outcome of love.

And how does this relate to your other work?

I'm a poet, and I'm really interested in the historical and the way that borders between the historical and the present are very fine, and not very solid. I think that also goes along with telephone- Bait/Switch from an oral aspect. The border between where one piece of art ends and another are kind of blurred I guess, because they're all a part of one larger piece. Writing for me is very similar to that. Different mythologies, and what's public and private, and things like that.

What advice do you have for someone else?

Read into what you're receiving as much as you want to, but also don't be afraid to bring your own experience into it.

Did you jump in right away? How did you approach this?

Part of my writing process, I need to be able to build up some sort of speed. Sheila Heti, the writer, talks about how she can never just sit down and write- she knows that if she does that, and doesn't have any motivation, it will be a waste of time and she should just do something else. So, for me, allowing myself to stew a little bit, or leaven, if we're going to back to bread, was important. I had to let it sit for a bit and then, when I was ready, dive into it.


Call Number: Y4VA | Y6PP.stePa


 

Natalie Stein grew up in Portland, Oregon, and is currently a student at KCAI where she is
pursuing her BFA in Creative Writing with a minor in Fiber studio. Her work has been shown in
the independent zine Hey Lady! and at the Ghost Gallery in Seattle.