I recede like a vanishing point on my ribboned trapeze
and trust hamstring and calf’s steady marriage
when I hang from my knees.
Physics can name the force that pushes the bar away again.
I’d call it Fortune’s wheel or Tantalus’s fruit,
but then I’m the company tragedienne —
all good trapeze artists are. I no sooner arrive than leave.
I love you, I’m quitting you. I live my life between
the two meanings of cleave.

Carrie Etter

Unspoken Rather Than Undone

October 11, 2015


The blue light sears
its circumference, the metal edge,
yet no committees congregate
on behalf of the pained stove,
nor apologists come forward
to speak for the status quo.

Sentience is remarked in action,
a verb rather than a sentence.
The inarticulate are not mute,
the monosyllabic not petty.

Sentience is a grain of sand in
an ocean wave.
Few look with that
descrying eye.

Carrie Etter


September 4, 2015


Who may gesture toward risk in the midst of the
ceremony altogether unaware that seeming
containment’s more seeming, gesture gingerly, a
mock courtship at the threshold of sure, degrees of
economy fortitude fertility alive aloft aloof all
askance in the even if slight derision even without
reference to (supposedly) contemporary declines
in who would have it not a box but a channel for
she’s right, “the Brain is wider than the Sky,”
though if one conflates seeing and seeming walls
will be palpable enough

Carrie Etter

(Please note: “The Brain is wider than the Sky” is a line from Dickinson.)

(Carrie Ettter is an American poet, essayist and critic. Her work in the UK has appeared in Metre, Poetry Wales, Poetry Review, Reactions, Thumbscrew, and The Times Literary Supplement. Her collections include:
Say Mercy, ed. by Steve Boyett, Sneaker Press, 1992,
Subterfuge of the Unrequitable, Poets & Poets Press, 1998,
Yet, Leafe Press, 2008,
The Tethers, Seren Books, 2009,
The Son, Oystercatcher Press, 2009,
Divining for Starters, Shearsman Books, 2011,
Imagined Sons, Seren Books, 2014. Her Blog HERE)