“The Mouse in Me” is a stop-motion animation of my poem by the same title, letterpress printed in salt. This poem is part of a series where I imagine the brain as a collection of governing bodies, with specialized cabinets and officials presiding over specific functions of the mind. I work as both a poet and an installation artist, and I frequently use salt to cast, crystallize, or encrust other objects. I am drawn to its elementality as a material as well as its symbolic richness. It is both a preservative and a corrosive, and can be at once extravagantly and repulsively beautiful. This video will likely become part of a larger installation I am collaborating on with the artist Cheryl Wassenaar.
Stephanie Ellis Schlaifer lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where she co-curates the Observable Readings series. She has a BFA & BA from Washington University in St. Louis and an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from AGNI, LIT, Denver Quarterly, 1913, OmniVerse, Colorado Review, Fence, and elsewhere. Her manuscript, Clarkston Street Polaroids, has been a finalist at Omnidawn, Tupelo Press, and Alice James, among others.