The war machine resembles an animal yet also a supernatural being…it understands atmosphere: how to suspend reality, how to create the black hole. (Taussig)
And one hopes that by taking notes one can replace “real” experience with “real” text.
I saw a woman smack her child on a Metro platform in Paris,
so hard he fell over.
a quietness //
The kid, sitting there on the floor, both slack and plump, reminded me of a leather purse in the hand of the 3rd a foolish son who has given all his riches to a hungry hag.
That night I dreamed I had sex with a cat. In the morning as I was buying my coffee, a real cat ran by my ankles; I almost fainted with desire and fear.
Heat sways the hanging lamp
overhead. Pages ascend toward
daylight—the blue, unpublished, hand of God (Vallejo)—
Nearby: another child-voice, cleansed: oh—
In my twenties I imagined I might reverse my body
get the organs out—I know you don’t believe me, but I
wasn’t very kind to—
He’s got a knife in the pocket and a phone in the neck, some cash, some wool,
something wet in the head.
He “let fire” in a Wendy’s, and a medic and his family (Jane’s Addiction in his pod)—
they “went down.”
Bullet: bowl: blister: to
lambaste: to thrash: to strike: to
endure or lift up: or harden, the
hand, broken like gravel, like a riverbank, eroded, and so
There’s the useful mother and the useless one
Useless is dead in its radiant face,
endlessly dead, eating and hot
Useful in motion, most lively in its own
Annie was a Buddhist and wouldn’t kill a bug
so the bugs killed all the plants when my mother went away
Brenda in the red house
got cancer in her breast
Her little boy rode a pony
Never been to Texas, never been to Spain, never been to
Holland, never been to Maine
All you babies with your orbs
like planets hung in space
with your mouths around your feet
you crawl into my face
“Maybe now we're beginning to see the long-term consequences of a young life hooked up to a black rainbow of behavior altering drugs.”
A quarry in the woods
simple, simple, easy, easy, quiet, quiet, still
Julie Carr is a professor at The University of Colorado at Boulder. These poems are from 100 Notes on Violence (Ahsahta Press, 2010)