Emily Carr

What you need to know is her coordinates are elsewhere.

She is working with only a few elements of memory.

Two or three scenes. A single landscape. The desperate arms of

corn & star. Abandoned cigarettes. Petunias in potato chip cans.

A single season: spring. In the wet limpy grass: broken beer

bottles & scattered tombstones. The yawning past, filled with

lovers waiting to be remembered.

Darling she prays don’t think I didn’t love you.

Its precisely because I love you that your death has set me free.

Each word scours her from the outside in. Miss me miss me do

you miss me. Now you’re gone—.

She asks I believe she asks if parenthesis still bleed.

There was, she prays the myth of marriage, but it did not include

us, no matter how you tried to squeeze us in.

At least: she cannot distinguish between what is & should be.

Rhinestone at the leaf joint of thunder. Gospel. Or a single shoe.

The housecat, hunting early.

(Fell down in a ditch & lay there for a while.)

Midas touching his daughter, roses, servants, the water in a

fountain—(It was what you shed. It shined.)

Emily Carr has published two books of poetry: directions for flying (Furniture Press 2010) and 13 Ways of Happily: Books 1 & 2 (Parlor Press 2011), the latter of which was chosen by Cole Swensen as the winner of the 2009 New Measures Prize. Excerpts from The Weights of Heaven, Emily’s autobiography-in-progress, were published in the Summer 2011 Adaptations Issue of The Western Humanities Review. For a video performance of excerpts from Name Your Bird Without a Gun, visit www.ifshedrawsadoor.com.

“‘nock end (n.)’: maybe the man driving, / smoking & singing / maybe the woman / on the edge of the porch / steeled / fleeing”