Erosion: A Collection of Poems consists of ten prose poems that explore the processing of trauma through a single lens. We follow the work’s main character as she navigates recovery following a medical trauma in Peru from which she ought to have died. The pieces challenge the readers to immerse themselves within her narrative to understand the isolation that trauma ushers in, as she struggles to know her own newfound aloneness.
While the poems illustrate the complexity of one’s experience with both PTSD and its stages of recovery (e.g., emergency, numbness, intrusive/repetitive, integration), they are anchored in the sensory, the concrete. Amidst the terror of the symptoms at the most basic, raw level, she attempts to reclaim selfhood, which involves wrestling with philosophical suicide, reconciling realities, numbness and the widening of a barrier, stunning intimacies, the craving to feel, and both the desire and the need to connect authentically without being able to satiate such inclinations.
Influenced by the works of Frank Bidart, Claudia Rankine, James Longenbach, and Carolyn Forché, the pieces rely heavily upon rhythm and spacing, imagery, and associative linkages throughout the work to craft a sense of physical, intellectual, and emotional movement within the space.
The collection focuses upon the narrative of one survivor of trauma, and though traumas may be experienced differently, and while PTSD may manifest itself in profoundly diverse ways, the pieces aim to capture the shared foundation of the experience — the isolation and the pure, unadulterated pain — in order to cast a universal veil onto the exploration, providing the audience with insight into one of trauma’s most important facets.