Issue 29: Carrie Etter
the inability to concentrate
here again at the desk in the lucid
wander window into garden
to gaze on grape hyacinths pale yellow crocuses
and further two wood pigeons
on a thin, rocking branch
and so again I make
promises to my dead
Again I find a pub’s corner for
a secluded hour–
are those hollyhocks, in a brass bucket on the bar?
The further in I settle,
the more I squint to see.
Bright, gaudy pink, yellow, white blooms
or a fakery of colour, of summer, token
of these late days.
I send my voice / alongside the robin, gripping a near branch / to be beside, perhaps even / take flight, from branch to ground and the warm soil / cool, bent grass blade / and a breeze, against and through / beak to earth and pluck / black beetle awry / the robin tips its head back and tongues / into swallow / and the voice watches, scavenges alongside / keeping a little distant and yet / (ac)company into else / and rise
Walking by a McDonald’s in England, I, a whiff of not quite nostalgia.
The fryer oil, the yellow logo, the cheap beef, oh and the Happy Meals.
My mother and I, two large Diet Cokes, the drive thru one of our.
There must be a way to talk about capitalism without disdaining everyone.
After the thrift shops, maybe a shoe store, Dollar Tree, and on home.
How we took ease. Our only thought, thirst. Slaked homeward, again.
[American expatriate Carrie Etter has lived in England since 2001 and is a member of the creative writing faculty at the University of Bristol. She has published four collections of poetry, most recently The Weather in Normal (UK: Seren; US: Station Hill, 2018), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and individual poems have appeared in The New Republic, The New Statesman, The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem, Poetry Review, and The Times Literary Supplement. She edited Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by UK Women Poets (Shearsman, 2010) and former student Linda Lamus's posthumous collection, A Crater the Size of Calcutta (Mulfran, 2015). She also writes short fiction, essays, and reviews.]
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