Alissa Carrier



I.     I would've enjoyed walking from hotel to restaurant had it not been for breath

II.    Two miles along backside streets and things are foggy with it
        A. It's not enough to say "winter" when I can smell onions and pinetree on
             the mouth of a stranger

III.   Landscapes bore me
        A. This particular one resembles the profile of my high school counselor
               1. I am not
                    a. resourceful
                    b. proficient
                    c. planned or stimulated
               2. because in my own version of heaven I am blond
                    a. thinner and contagious

IV.   No one really dies in stories in these landscapes
        A. or between the hours of 5 and 6 a.m.
        B. If I could come back from the dead I would

V.    Now near the end of the middle stretch of the road

VI.   It turns out I am walking in the wrong direction to La Cazuela
        A. The smell of tacos drifts from the other side of town
        B. I want to sit at a table
               1. drink sangria
               2. re-read my horoscope in the newspaper
                    a. the one from this morning
                    b. that says I should not lean
                    c. but it’s a good day to lie
                         i. flat on my back



When read out loud, you should enunciate the A's, II's, i's and so forth. I liken poetry to a house of sorts where form creates plaster walls. The tenants or owners before you may have lived in this same house, yet it is your decoration of that house that makes it separate and new. Poems that create different boundaries through the pretense of switching genre re-decorate or re-build. The poem above attempts to work out this affectation of genre. Specifically, it asks about the limits of poetry; it asks if it can build a door leading to a brick wall or a new wing onto its house without contracting a builder. How much genre-switching can a poem withhold before it is not a poem? Likewise, how many rooms can be added to a house before the foundation collapses? And if the foundation does collapse, what kind of house should be built from the debris? Maybe we shouldn't re-build a house at all; maybe an apartment building is suitable. How many poets does it take to screw in a light bulb?