From the Archive: Natalie Zina Walschots (CAROUSEL 27)

From the Archive: Natalie Zina Walschots (CAROUSEL 27)

NATALIE ZINA WALSCHOTS Supervillains Charybdis wolf-bellied and writhingshe the rock to your whirlpool all bladder all mouthyou vomit seawatereffluence all salt slavering tentacle to gaping mawperfect dinner companions you shatter the vesselshe devours the crew Lex my stately pleasure dome, decree Parasite hunger gone hollow slobber shankedgnaw to marrow swallow Doom 1 grillwork rebuff skin, bitten superconductordata scatters toes to TENS unitmy circuit shortens gauntlet concave vice, blasted infraredtatters tracked heat signaturewhat alloy allows jetpack

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From the Archive: Yi-Mei Tsiang (CAROUSEL 27)

From the Archive: Yi-Mei Tsiang (CAROUSEL 27)

YI-MEI TSIANG We Take Our Children Tobogganing after wrestling with boots and mittsafter packing hot chocolate, teddy grahams, extra socks,after waiting out the held-breath tantrum over zippers. We stand at the top, an impasse, clouds of breathforming a storm over their little woolen-wrapped heads. Their voices needle us, sharp and small — I don’t wanna — enough to draw blood. I hear the whir of a distant bird, air plunging through its struggling wings. Some

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From the Archive: Jaime Forsythe (CAROUSEL 26)

From the Archive: Jaime Forsythe (CAROUSEL 26)

JAIME FORSYTHE Lavender Pulse He was in a home, had soft bones, pausedfor days between thoughts, but knew whenevery one of us was born. All those phone calls,triple ring of a rural party line as the entire blockeavesdropped. Never knew privacy. Wallsthinned to curtains; his skin became transparent.Blow-ups of his organs; amplified tune of his heart.The nurse was a man. The nurse was his son, and hisgrandson, and his best friend from high school.The nurse

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From the Archive: Julie Cameron Gray (CAROUSEL 26)

From the Archive: Julie Cameron Gray (CAROUSEL 26)

JULIE CAMERON GRAY Widow Fantasies I want my husband to disappear, dissolvelike a spoonful of sugar in a cup of coffee. I want him to fall asleep at the wheelfor a distracted driver to make a mistakefor snow to conceal a slippery surface. I want it quick and painless and over in a flash.Twist of metal, bone, the shatteredwindshield a constellation across black ice.Traffic backed up for miles. I’d get a call in the night,

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From the Archive: Liisa Ladouceur (CAROUSEL 25)

From the Archive: Liisa Ladouceur (CAROUSEL 25)

LIISA LADOUCEUR Warren Ellis’ Violin Because poets are like shoesbest when foreignand in translationall of ache is lost.Because sad songscan only say so muchin four minutes twentyand life is too messyfor such pretty mouths.Because words can be warpedby lips, fits, lispsand voices drowned outin dark rivers and bars. Play onyour ocean songs.Fingers singingbows for knivespiercing the skinsthat hold it all in.Those nights we pukedup desire, stumbled ashamedcrumbled, humbledby love’s lost namesthose dirty deedswhen we were

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From the Archive: Fred Gaysek (CAROUSEL 24)

From the Archive: Fred Gaysek (CAROUSEL 24)

FRED GAYSEK Figuring 16 — for Jesse Harris and liquid corescoring image surfacerace matter in matterhatter madder than ever beforeit is in saying one aliveone fossilone fool fuel Figuring 16appeared in CAROUSEL 24 (2009) — buy it here

From the Archive: Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán (CAROUSEL 24)

From the Archive: Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán (CAROUSEL 24)

AHIMSA TIMOTEO BODHRÁN Vergüenza He didn’t realize the shame of being Native was the same as the shame in being queer. The shame of wanting to touch something, someone, his hands reaching towards trees butlooking around before touching, or touching so brief it might be brusk, might bruise the branches, tear a leaf, rip acorn from what was once tender grasp. Soon he wondered the ways in which, during the years he has closeted, was

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From the Archive: Leigh Nash (CAROUSEL 23)

From the Archive: Leigh Nash (CAROUSEL 23)

LEIGH NASH Day Trip This day beetles forward careening red eyelid on a two-lane Yucatan road110 km/h glass eyeballs unblinkchew up scenery, plowpast the tinted windows of white tourist vans The most earth with no earth, almond trees burstfrom lime rock, low bushesbear pink avocados; dogs spill sidewaysin the sun, feral ribs thin inlets Corrugated towns chatter Rusty graveyards swallowpastel crosses row, rowcrumbling plaster tombs thousand year-old stoneovergrown with lilies, bougainvillea Waist-high girls and boys

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From the Archive: Adrienne Gruber (CAROUSEL 23)

From the Archive: Adrienne Gruber (CAROUSEL 23)

ADRIENNE GRUBER This Is a Book You Shouldn’t Open In moments like these it’s important to rememberthe angry cry of geese, their shrieking voices,the way they circle the bridge at night.Not to dwell on a more recent lossthe ominous kind, a warning. Instead,think of the mouse that died in the compost pitits body half in half out of the wooden binflies buzzing over the tiny carcass.Days later it was still there, a skeleton,crushed under foot.

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From the Archive: Kathryn Mockler (CAROUSEL 23)

From the Archive: Kathryn Mockler (CAROUSEL 23)

KATHRYN MOCKLER Murder It’s not a good idea to bein the same room as someone who is just about to murder you. I wonder what it feels like to be murdered.I’m sure it hurts your feelings, and then I’m sure you feelreally mad but aren’t able to express your anger in a productive way. Some murderers are nicer than other murderers.Some murderers let you eatyour favourite food before you get murdered — like popcorn or

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From the Archive: Talia Zajac (CAROUSEL 22)

From the Archive: Talia Zajac (CAROUSEL 22)

TALIA ZAJAC Bebelplatz 1933 and 2005 i Smouldering and cracking open, the pages furling into black ash, tossed by the thousands, the books perish as words crinkle, blacken, turn to dust, putting Wells and Marx and Mann in the same circle of the inferno as young men hold torches and offer hemlock to Socrates: nobody wants to hear about death in Venice. ii The ash blows away the words, as I stand in Bebelplatz, where

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From the Archive: Ian Williams (CAROUSEL 22)

From the Archive: Ian Williams (CAROUSEL 22)

IAN WILLIAMS The Commute Nobody ever survives. — Margaret Atwood                                                    Ikemefuna certainly didn’tmake it through the forest, pot of palm wine on his head, with an entourage of slammer mouthed men who led him to believe he was going home. A lie, but they meant well. Machete to the neck. Then the unnecessary announcementMy father they have killed me, past perfect, as if he were already dead. And good weather, maps, company, trusty ship,

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From the Archive: Mono Brown (CAROUSEL 21)

From the Archive: Mono Brown (CAROUSEL 21)

MONO BROWN Creak Make my bed and lie in it, bone-pile,you get to be the blanket lumps. Half a year or so ago your weightwould make this mattress creak, creak. Stay a bit and let me hear your teethtap dance, bone-pile. Knead an everlastingmeal from these pale sheets of flesh. My bathroom light stays on when you comeback to me in dreams that hold your jointstogether for the first time since they brokeand I see

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From the Archive: Antranik Tchalekian (CAROUSEL 21)

From the Archive: Antranik Tchalekian (CAROUSEL 21)

ANTRANIK TCHALEKIAN Dream of Flying lush and raw, the night descends on you so quiet, hands raisedto catch any stray signals thrown down from spacetrying to chart systems,maps, divine movements I remember the momentwhen all the words left my headpoured out and were buried in mudas I ran over the soaked earth,was taken, joined the air and soaredthe moment time cleaved us in half a blackbird now,I spend days flying and nights trying to reach

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From the Archive: Moez Surani (CAROUSEL 20)

From the Archive: Moez Surani (CAROUSEL 20)

MOEZ SURANI Guy de Maupassant “What, then, did Flaubert understand by beauty, in the art he perused with so much fervour, with so much self-command? Let us hear a sympathetic commentator.” — Walter Pater I become Boswell around him. I see him Sundayswhen bark closes his face. He is an unhappy planet disregard thegarrulity of his letters he is somethingfrom Ovid becoming woman or lionon whim becoming delusionor child as the bark slams over his stomachand

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From the Archive: Jen Currin (CAROUSEL 20)

From the Archive: Jen Currin (CAROUSEL 20)

JEN CURRIN A Bat Unveiled In the museum of land mines,my acquaintance fans her wings.Outside the sparrows catch fire.A tree falls to its knees.I become the sudden murderer,unable to recognize the radishesof my hands. The dictionary shudders. Again I cannot bealone. What is left of beautyI sop up with a napkin, believingit a limited supply. My only reading materialgives in to the blaze. And now I burn the legsof the chair, lest they touchthe ground.

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From the Archive: Michael Aird (CAROUSEL 19)

From the Archive: Michael Aird (CAROUSEL 19)

MICHAEL AIRD For Seamus stem entrancemeshed to the cold hollowwhere your words vicareda clock heatawhile, saturated forward like I tinkered victim mechanicsthe resemblance of kept recordsbricks through glass paneimprints soft tissue so much knotted truthhoisted as black flagsabove the antechamber, antiravelour impulse bundle exhaledwithout bloodshed silence hardens over unlooked forthe proof drive stood hinge to our previous alsoits graft welcome waitsto wave us in For Seamusappeared in CAROUSEL 19 (2006) — buy it here

From the Archive: Robin Patterson (CAROUSEL 19)

From the Archive: Robin Patterson (CAROUSEL 19)

ROBIN PATTERSON The Woods Behind my Father’s House I have been lost in these woods before.I have seen this tree, scarred and twisted,and not recognized it.My feet have paced this unfamiliar pathtripping over roots that were never there. The spaces between the trees are dark and forbidding.The ferns at my feet fill the unfamiliar forest floorand grow as high as my waist,hiding a whole other world under their fronds.I keep my hands close to my

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From the Archive: Anne Baldo (CAROUSEL 18)

From the Archive: Anne Baldo (CAROUSEL 18)

ANNE BALDO Like Money Everyone Will Use You & It Won’t Even Matter Stuck on the tongue,sour,like the pillyou cannot swallow your wordsare meaningless asfragmented hieroglyphicsyou talk in the calligraphyof valentines — beautiful but wasted. So don’t apologizefor your absenceas you walk awaydon’t say remembering people is so hard. Reduce usto a mere glitch of the heart. I will wait for youbut in the arms of other men. Like Money Everyone Will Use You …appeared

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From the Archive: bill bissett (CAROUSEL 18)

From the Archive: bill bissett (CAROUSEL 18)

BILL BISSETT ther was a strangr cum 2 town   that longpurpul nite      all th kiyots gone 2 sleepevreewun was krashd yu cudint see a thingth fog was sew cum in th smothring blankit th knarlee perls inth sky   promising whatyu cud nevr get heer sum say ther was abarn door   creek   in th aweful moon lite   sumherd a roostr crow   way b4 dawn  ther was astrangr cum 2

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