This piece is extracted from a collection of collage-poems called TENDER THE NIGHT. The collection takes its title from a famous novel, with a notable redaction. When “is” is cut out, “tender” is transformed from adjective—meaning caring, gentle, sweet—to verb: to tender is to offer, proffer, present. Night becomes currency. The collage-poems that TENDER assembles depend on just this style of phase change: excision reaping lateral transformation. (The novel Tender is the Night redacts and reorganizes the experience of its muse, Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald.) These scraps muse on roaring nights both given and profited from; pilfering from mass media, art, the vault of my life and the lives of near ones; poking around in the basement of theft and offer.

"saw trick / birch & bamboo" from Hofling's "TENDER THE NIGHT" - paper collage, 2017

“saw trick / birch & bamboo” from Hofling’s “TENDER THE NIGHT” – paper collage, 2017

hoflingheadshot Helen Hofling cuts, pastes, and casts spells in Baltimore, Maryland, where she lives with a cute girl and two maniac cats. A recent graduate of The Writer’s Foundry, her work can be found or is forthcoming in Barrow StreetPosit JournalRabbit Catastrophe ReviewSalt Cellar QuarterlyUPPERCASEInfinity’s Kitchen, and The Vassar Review.

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