ISSUE 47Salt Lake City Series #3 // Edited by Lindsey Webb
Making New Friends
The poem's speaker operates under the delusion that they can perform intimacy and choreograph human connection. I don't ascribe to their perspective, but I do sympathize with anyone weary, and wary, of displays of vulnerability. Specifically, how people instrumentalize vulnerability so it's less an emotional crisis and more a goal-oriented sequence of recognizable gestures. I wrote this while I was dating and thinking a lot about the tropes and fictions of romantic relationships.
I filmed this sitting on the floor in front of a full-length mirror in my bedroom, in my apartment in downtown Salt Lake City. It's strange to think about all the time spent, before any social situation, preparing in front of a mirror; how much power and control does anyone really have over how they're seen? Considering the context of the poem, in front of a mirror in the bedroom seemed an appropriate location.
Paula Mendoza's first book, Play for Time, was published by Gaudy Boy in the spring of 2020. She's a writer of the Filipino diaspora. She's currently finishing up her Ph.D. at the University of Utah. Instagram: @paulajanemendoza; Twitter: @paula_jane_; Website: www.paulajanemendoza.com