“Suppose I were to begin by saying that I had fallen in love with a color. Suppose I were to speak this as though it were a confession; suppose I shredded my napkin as we spoke. It began slowly. An appreciation, an affinity. Then, one day, it became more serious. Then(looking into an empty teacup, its bottom stained with thin brown excrement coiled into the shape of a sea horse) it became somehow personal.”
Bluets is a semi-autobiographical collection of 240 prose poems reflecting on love, heartbreak, depression, grief (the subject here is her friend who became paralyzed in an accident), sex (her erotic obsession with an ex- lover, the mysterious “Prince of Blue”), etc. portrayed through Nelson’s fondness of the color blue. In her book, she explores her loneliness in her own prose as well as the words of other writers, philosophers thoughts on the color theory, and researchers’ study of the color spectrum.
Her musings are thought-inducing while still retaining the beauty of language that is found in poetry. Though the numbered thoughts may seem fragmented at first glance, they are anything but disconnected. Her writing is some of the most colorful (pun sort of intended) and entrancing I’ve read. My short little review doesn’t do this stunning book nearly as much justice as it deserves, so you’ll either have to take my word for it or read it yourself (I recommend the former).
“71. I have been trying for some time now, to find dignity in my loneliness. I have been finding this hard to do….75. Mostly I have felt myself becoming a servant of sadness. I am still looking for the beauty in that.”