Monday, September 16, 2013

Catherine Barnett

Catherine Barnett [Jacqueline Mia Foster]

from Catherine Barnett’s The Game of Boxes:


We didn’t believe an elephant could squeeze into church
so we went to church and waited while the priest
kept saying listen and forgive and the animals all around us
listened, or didn’t listen, some strained against leashes,
some wore disguises that made them look like people we knew,
people we should forgive or be forgiven by,
we didn’t know which, even the elephant
looked like someone we knew, flooding the doorway
like a curtain of light, swaying from side to side.
Her hide was cracked down to her feet and her eyes,
they shone like glass before it breaks. She looked
like she might fly but only walked down the aisle
in a dirty gown of wrinkles, so wrinkled and slow
and vast and silvery, the whole galaxy shivering.

Of All Faces [excerpt]


Never will I say
ok, yes, so this is it,
this is love.

He’s only homeopathy,
a little lust —
tincture, overdose,

vials of must —
an outrage to human reason,”
nothing to trust.

In the Cabinet of What’s Expired

Salves, creams, dreams in their shiny metal tins:
the balm of yes
is now the balm of no —

But it’s a pretty silver hope,
and I still swallow it —
I let it wash down my throat,

my chest,
down my desire vortex
to my smooth wild feet,

I let it wash my feet —

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