IN THE SPACES BETWEEN...
Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives on the backside of a hill in the Ozark Mountains. She is the author of The Mercy of Traffic (Unlikely Books, 2019), Discount Fireworks (Jacaranda Press, 2008) and Reading Berryman to the Dog (Jacaranda Press, 2000.) Chapbooks include "They Went to the Beach to Play" (Locofo Chaps, 2016), Chap Book (Platypus Press, 2016), Persephone on the Metro (MadHat press, 2014), The Storage of Angels (Slow Water Press, 2008), and After Happily Ever After (Two River Chapbooks, 2003.)
Poem Title: "Memoir"
Reading it always fills me with awe. To write about oneself as if the past were fixed, I can’t conjure that. Imagine knowing what you know. Imagine remembering detail. For me, certain moments bob up, float on the oily surface, sink again. Any memoirist’s shelf-stock differs, of course, but there are usually white curtains and dressers with glass knobs. There is that chartreuse dress. There is a dark-haired sweetheart with that fetching birthmark. In my head, there is only a pell-mell tumble through the semi-connected that joins last year to this afternoon, slips the names of ex husbands into a list of serial killers, recites the classes of heavy machines, adds sixteen synonyms for spill.
There was a childhood, I feel certain of that. There was a stack of comic books in the closet. There was a bike or maybe a horse. But I have no way to be sure. When I think of being an only child, I think of this. There is no one to check my recollection. No one to say, “The pony’s name was Chess” or “it happened like this.” By inclination and aptitude, I know best how to forget, love best excision. The dog of impossible recall lives here. In that way, my life has been like an industrial canal, sudsy, freighted with junk, the actions all going on underwater.
PERSEPHONE ON THE METRO
If you want a different story, you swing
the mop. What I remember is the weight
of nights and their particulars, sunrise
as a mist before the day slid over us,
lifting like an indigo balloon, striped
to amuse the limbic part of the brain that
sees a lover through the window, gone up
the gravel path with the noble rattle and
crunch of a serious journey, his canteen
swaying. But for me there's something prissy
about talking like this without mentioning
dirt and residue, listing the leftovers:
greasy knife, stained linens -- when I know later
if I want the place clean, I move the river.
Journals of Interest
Asses of Parnassus
Cider Press Review
Dead Mule School of Southern Literature
Dime Show Review
Ghost City Review
Mom Egg Review
New Verse News
Rat's Ass Review
Right Hand Pointing