The Poetry Project

Four Poems

Callie Garnett

Linen in Winter

That was the day I sailed comfortably from off an intractable horse and broke my neck
And fractured my skull

I rode the horse back to the stables and dismissed the incident
But this is the end of my language
No one has ever had an easier experience with a serious accident

It was a night of spotlights
Shining on other people’s hair
Making it red, blue…Pretty unfair.

A band concluded, I prepared myself for
Another band. One came out
In a French fry outfit. I forfeited, threw up

My hands and shouted
BQ Green 4ever, whatever that meant
Heart-holding teddy

Velcroed on the blue gel in the MD tent
Where Ari & I go to get the ear plugs
Past blue potties laid out like a PDF

The band mimics production software lozenges
Shunking into place on a timebound track
A bassist’s fingers seem to be tugging his face
By a narrow strap

At the end
People felt the songs had been so good but truthfully

They were making a transition at a beautiful time.
The sky was amazing—
Ari & I discussed end-of-life spaces

The levels had literary names, I said
Dickens in script along the lowest…wall dingus
“Knowledge comes but wisdom lingers”

She seemed to be studying the purples,
Dividing them into permanent & temp

Did you know:
Bronson Alcott wouldn’t let his family eat potatoes?
Or any roots?
Or any plants that grow the way of hell?

They got so hungry they’d beg the neighbors
Or else eat lilies, linen in winter.
I cd be your combination black lab doberman pinscher

Sir, said Ari
Sir I could surf yr wave here sir
Interviewing for Geeks on Whyte

I could mow yr lawn despite tornado
(Canadian man keeps mowing lawn despite tornado threat)
A lobby tour showed me in detail the community
From above

Everybody eats & gesticulates
Refreshed by the idea of dew
Inside the Halls of Art, where primacy of feeling
They placed the urn into the vast ocean, a spokesperson said

These obscure lyrics, turning against me
Tonight. Every night. Pretty unfair

Rippling Flesh Of Titian

& the friendships, they exploded
1 by 1
Like the rippling flesh of Titian
In his old age. Antiope.

A flourish on his forced
Resignation: He was made to
Watch them execute his… “mentee.” Made to
Watch his…
Tints dim. Me,

I lose a dime in the moment it’s given
I travel with a single pencil, James
I will choose to remember you,
Dad, w/ mother’s voice. A small amount
Of tungsten

& I feel a Fillmore of relativity
Rippling thru me.
The little bunny
Eats prickly asparagus,
 I choose
To depend on a darker drink for existence

15 derisive bottles, one for each finger
I kiss the northern flicker & I falter.
It will perch on your
Wrist to feed & film from there
A corner of the wall where a dwarf is potted

7 inches tall w/ molded hair
& painted eyes.
Sometimes there’s peanut butter in the house & I’m like oh no
& my mother rigged up fountains in the bisque

To ride in which denotes joy & profit
Shoeless but mint,
New model fingers.
& falter for the rest of my life,
always eats it out of sight…”

Small Adonises

Small Adonises
Fight on the mental carpet
Under the gaze of dad
On the backs of our neighbors
375 years away, the all-seeing blimp
The lady beast unfluffs his favorite pillow
If you follow any two lines you can see
They make a hydraulic cylinder
Good genes, salva, myrtle beach
Use the adjective “exquisite”
My primary vice—
We slept on an air mattress inflated by helpful machines
My stomach hurt English to middle schoolers
A walk in old growth, colored advertisements
Lists my son can learn
Dear ,
Pease read the book I’m sending
Really to read the diary of the accused is to be
Read, something Americans can savor

[We Threw Out The Specimens After Rain]

We threw out the specimens after rain
Blinding even the dark-eyed banner carrier
And I’m sitting there on the dehydrated
Days Inn bedspread in rock island IL
& the girls on either side of me have
A deep commitment to the avant garde
& here’s this sumptuous feminist poetic
Film about rage & frankly, it’s thrilling. Still I
Cover my tits getting out of the shower
Wrote Stein of the Chicago dance marathon:
They were all there, their bodies were drooping
Moving & drooping alone, but often when one was
More moving the other was more drooping

This morning, optimizing my copy for search engine
I made this pastoral sweeping gesture, lumping
Dad—Stein—Agnes Martin…

Issue 14