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Friday 9 March 2012

Carolyn Srygley-Moore-

Contemplating "Freaks", & what that entails
I am no hermaphrodite
but I feel for any being left on the hillside to die
just for the body they inhabit
in its unholy divine maiming.
Once I watched the movie Freaks
& cried throughout, feeling
the cupped orange shell of the emptied prayer
ricochet through my hollowed bones.
Despite my blue eyes, my long blonde hair
Despite my five fingers five toes
& no fear of water
I crawled like the one without legs
I ate swords like the one with the flexible esophagus
I swallowed fire like winter.
Are you crying my mother said         that time
I was sixteen & crouched in a corner
behind a white chair          are you weeping
aren't you happy? Of course
I am happy       I said.
& whom is one protecting
when one lies like that:   one's mother
or oneself?           I watched the movie Freaks
in someone else's living room.
I have always lived in someone else's living room.
I remove the cloths from the clocks
I remove the sleeping tarp from the bird cage.
I weep for those who are left behind
on the Trail                  on that Trail
leading up the mountain in Lake George
marked with red, the cedar
as if marked for war.

Ghosts & Effigies

They say this house was built in 1780.

I see fractions of light sometimes
moving against the windows
as ghosts would move.
But I don't believe in ghosts any longer.
Not ghosts of the dead, anyway.
But echoes of response
echoes of answer.             Where were you
when I was stranded by the river
the bank filled with twisted wood & the memory of napalm?
The river was rising        my heart was frothing
with a rabid fear.     Where were you
when the girl living in the house behind us
disappeared         only a white sneaker carried on the current
remaining?            Surely
we are more than effigies of a lost America
carried, burning            down foreign streets.
Every lover has another side
to him.           O in the kisses of daybreak
every lover has another side.

Threats & Confidences of Mirrors

1)  Strange        watching oneself from a distance

a girl talking, laughing, making love
catching the snow on fire.
I have walked past shopfront windows many a time
& wondered who was that person passing
to my left or right             who was that person walking

right in front of me?          Earlier

today: seated in the living room
with all the mirrors in another place
I thought this is a good age, my age.
I am no longer so afraid.

Ah even the snow even the fire

were once my nemesis.

2) I brought the mirrors inside

from the back yard
where the door seller waits always
for my fear to brandish itself.
I brought the mirrors indoors.
I was no longer apprehensive of that instant when
they hold glass before one's lips
to see if one is exhaling.
To see if one is past the point of need.

Carolyn Srygley-Moore is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Songs Scared from the Conch // as Voices Carry. She is a Pushcart and Best of the Web nominee.  Widely published, Carolyn lives in Upstate New York with her husband, daughter, and three dogs. Interviews with Carolyn are accessible via the Google machine..

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