Read Kyra Rabinov's review of The Body at a Loss + a conversation with Cati in the Fall issue of Literary Mama.
Read Jeannine Hall Gailey's microreview of The Body at a Loss in GUEST 6.
About The Body at a Loss
Cati Porter’s mother began chemo on July 19, 2012, Cati’s 41st birthday. Throughout the process, from diagnosis through treatment and recovery, Cati became her mother’s patient advocate, shepherding her through an “inconvenient year”. Then, during her mother’s recovery, Cati receives her own medical diagnosis, quickly transforming advocate into patient.
Or visit the University of Chicago Press distributor page for an indie bookstore near you
In the waiting room, a glowing fish tank
Emanates from a flat screen hung high above
Our heads. The goldfish flit, the bubbles gurgle,
And the pump swooshes pixelated water
Through a pixelated filter & back
Into the goldfish hush.
On the walkway toward the Wellness Center’s
Door, I take care to avoid crushing the snails.
What separates them from us? How patiently they
Make their way from one piece of grass to
Another, dragging their glittering trains. I lift one,
Move it to the other side. But who am I to know
Where it was headed? Suppose I have just set it
In a patch of salt, imminent death?
What is it that plucks us from the rush
Deposits us this side or that side; what care
Have they taken to avoid us smashing into the dust?
On the end table a stack of pamphlets,
Patient Survey. How patient they are, waiting,
The stack fanned out as though many hands
Might reach for them at once.
-- from Hartskill Review
Photo credit: Carlos Puma
Cati Porter is a poet, editor, essayist, arts administrator, wife, mother, daughter, friend. She is the author of eight books and chapbooks, including The Body at a Loss, the first draft of which was written in the days following a total thyroidectomy.
The Body at a Loss explores the weird world of barium swallow tests, MRIs, mothering, marriage, and post-anesthesia migraines.
"...a kind of suspension enters — part underworld,
part dreamscape, part hyper-presence —"
Jennifer K. Sweeney on The Body at a Loss