Salt water might blind you
with certain promises but it won’t
get you drunk with real thrill
or show you anyone’s insides.
You think a tidal wave is real
power? It probably took
a million small insects to dye
an emperor’s robe and it
isn’t how we treat our equals
but those smaller that counts.
Caroline Crew’s poem for Dottie Lasky, and then I exploded. (via Nashville Review)
Describe yourself as a poet in three words: lady fragment undone
What is your chief misery as a poet? too many birds and not enough language
What you appreciate the most in a poem: a swerve I don’t see coming
If not a poet, what would you be? geologist, chef or lawyer
Who is your poetry hero and why? Historically, Elizabeth Barrett-Browning– a hero so much I wrote my first book with her by re-writing Sonnets from the Portuguese. Contemporaneously, Alexis Pope, Morgan Parker and Carrie Lorig, for starters. There are some many amazing female poets right now trying to navigate being alive and they are heroes every day.
What is your idea of happiness?
What is your present state of mind? Winter is melting, emergence from constantly being tired, craft clue marred nails, returning “home” and hunger.
my town’s mascot is a single
tear / this is a perfect expression /
because it is limited / and not pictured
related to a body / crying is a baroque
embarrassment on an actual face /
roiling troubles the porcelain
Caroline Crew, “Occasional Poem,” published in Drunken Boat
These are the times when it’s hardest, in Caroline’s words, not to have a hometown. I know that the riots have nothing to do with politics. I know that too well that my place has its share of hateful people, who will take whatever opportunity they can to break it. But even knowing that, I want to be among my people. The Yes campaign’s loss has been heartbreaking for many of them, and I can only hope that the disappointment will make them kinder. That the unionists will be graceful in victory, that Scotland will remain, in some ways, the home I left. It may not be the land of blooming heather and shining river that the songs describe. It may, in many ways, be already broken. But what’s broken can be fixed, and the prodigal can always return. Scotland is not the land I lost, though things I have lost do inhabit it. I told Tyler when he left that a goodbye can be an ellipsis.
There is a vast canon of women writers that is mine, but I have to go out and find those authors. They are writers you don’t read in school. For everyone one Elizabeth Barrett Browning, there were hundreds and hundreds of Victorian women writers, many of whom were outselling Dickens. And I don’t know them! Twenty years from now, people will be reading some of my peers: women poets, poets of color, queer poets. I think about what I have to do to make sure these future readers get to access to all these amazing writers. And I think about how loud we all need to keep shouting.
Caroline Crew, interviewed by Molly McArdle for Brooklyn Mag
[Author’s note: This is a found story, constructed from
voice-to-text Siri mistranslations of MFA gossip my first semester at UMass.]
Let’s talk about a blessed evening this evening if after I wake
up Warhurst is popping drunk. Pemeria what’s the plan at the party? Ha ha what
the Suttons eat: Something to eat, something. Can you stop drinking? If you
might still be drunk I’ll visit. I just hope everyone on a diet at 5 o’clock
Just thinking, for you have nothing else to do. Do you like the
theater? Do you have time to actually bring your brain? You might want to go,
you might appreciate this kind of pop cultural late-lingual atmosphere. Lutomma
loved it, all the diamonds. They can watch, incinerating a sandwich. Shakley
can feel lonely.
Let’s talk about how much we miss that/him, wishing that we
could hang out with Shakley. Please forgive me, he’s the one, the custodian at
the gym. Such an island. A close-knit people. Atavistic years, face painting.
We were there together. I’m older.
Lutomma, who are you? How was Salter? What about the novel?
Warhurst does like anybody that finishes. Is it hard to retain information to
the enemy? He is a musician and he’s been toying with you.
Listen Shakley, listen baby. I was thinking of you in the
Gainesville Minery. You like Captain Stormalong. Look up! What are you craving?
Going to visit this weekend? Staying over? Music? Would be interesting.
I, limping too seriously about it, just say: I don’t remember.
You’re real drunk. And she went oh no: I, super drunk! Yes you are, but denoting
Lately, you’re too pretty for you. You, the name for him. Let’s
evening with them. Just, with the curtains on the door. Just let Lovinger fuck
me instead, preferably in the face of you.
Lollipop, Lollipop, I don’t understand. If I have just the
stuff then you close the reciprocals. I think, so I see. Sparseness,
incidentals. I do like him, it’s hurtful. I like to collect experience. I’m
going to get my feelings right. I’m just very dark, really dark.
Making a drink!
Jonathan*s bit of influence. Every time I try to he is missing, always.