Notes regarding my body — a Wunderkammer by Shelly Jackson.

- Jackson's name wasn't familiar to me, but reading the introductory material I'd heard of her Patchwork Girl when I came across it while reading Frankenstein with Dr. Williamson a few summers ago.

- The term "Wunderkammer" was not familiar to me, but looking it up led to the definition "cabinets of curiosities [which] arose in mid-sixteenth-century Europe as repositories for all manner of wondrous and exotic objects" (This from a MoMA exhibit that used the term as an exhibit title in 2008.) The title seemed most directly referenced in the passage on toes: "If other bodies could do things, magical things, that I couldn't even approximate, then a body was like a cabinet of wonders inherited from a great-aunt: you didn't know what was in it, but one day you opened a drawer and pulled out something wonderful. I might be able to do things nobody else had even imagined. All I had to do was try everything. Sooner or later I would find out what my own big trick might be."

- I wondered about the choice of the "cover" image of the extended tongue - did this picture most directly echo the notion of searching for a physical trick? Also, the juxtaposition of woodcuts and hypertext is provocative and seems to deserve discussion.

- The opening sound? It seemed like a digital recording of a person blowing through a toilet paper tube.

- The reference to Frankenstein on the "Shoulders" page made me wonder to what extent body issues dominate all of this artist's work.

- I was interpreting the work as pure autobiography until I reached the entry related to the speaker's tail. (I later noticed the introductory screen indicated it to be semi-autobiographical.) Gender identity and confusion seem prominent here, both in the tail entry and the crotch section later.

- The memorable details are what stuck out most from this piece. Here are a few examples:

Describing sweaty adolescent armpits: "My gym clothes hardened into origami in my locker overnight."

- Of the bones in her hand seen through the light: "It was the secret of my death waiting to wear its way out of me, a centimeter under the skin, reaching for what I touched."

- Of bra-shopping with her mother: "The antique saleswoman, her own bosom fused and immobile, walked right into the dressing room to confer with my mother about my size, as if my breasts were now the public provenance of all womankind."
- Sometimes I wasn't sure if I was in on or missing the joke - take for instance the tattoos passage in which the narrator claims that after her first two visible tattoos caused no end of unwelcome conversation, she had the remaining 26 done in the exact color of her skin. Huh?
She certainly also demonstrates a poet's taste for specific words - language such as the medieval wind instrument krummhorn (from the nose entry)