Issue 9: Carrie Etter
Even Supposingan erasure of the chapters from Charles Dickens's Bleak House narrated by Esther Summerson: from chapter 3, 'A Progress'
My portion I always knew
such a shy
rather a noticing way seems to brighten
trifling I I ought to better
cast me upon ease
took the light away
quickened when my affection is
disgrace you will understand
pray daily forget forget
set apart crept
properly I felt the distance fervently
come home long shadow
almost fourteen I was reading as I always did
stopped by my godmother’s
Don’t weep! Don’t tremble!
every contingency, every masterly
only to know
upon the whole
beat time to his own music or rounded a sentence
offers education comfort
less able to speak say?
parting kiss a thaw-drop from the stone porch
and thus I left
frosty trees pieces of spar
sun, so red yet yielding so little
a gentleman took no notice
crying I faltered
want to go there?
very glad to
We left him at a milestone.
As if this narrative were the narrative of MY life!
little body soon fall
proofs of love
a London particular
slowly the dirtiest ever
until sudden quietude a silent square
an odd nook
after the journey stirred the fire
strange stranger night in the day-time
candles burning with a white flame
raw and cold
I read the words in the newspaper without knowing what they meant
thinking, thinking, thinking
the fire burning, burning, burning
the candles flickering and guttering — for two hours
round a corner, under a colonnade into a comfortable sort
a young lady and a young gentleman
saw in the young shining
welcome and her hand
in a few minutes the window-seat
the light of the fire upon us free
Richard an ingenuous face
a bustle and a tread
his lordship trimmed with beautiful gold lace
turned over the leaves Miss Ada Clare?
a suitable companion Miss Summerson
gave me an indulgent look
the candour of a boy
in the fog
Carrie Etter has published two collections of poetry, The Tethers (Seren, 2009) and Divining for Starters (Shearsman, 2011), and edited Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by UK Women Poets. She teaches as a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.