THERMOS 1: Caryl Pagel

Today we begin a two-week feature of Caryl Pagel’s poetry. One of the poets we started the journal for, we’ve returned to Caryl’s work more than to any other poet’s. It’s been wonderful to watch as Rescue Press has flourished and her first book, Experiments I Should Like Tried At My Own Death has gained widespread recognition. We’re all proud to call her a friend and to continue our project of publishing more of/about her poetry this month. She’s an inspiring presence, we’re sure you (will) agree. This poem is from our first issue. Check back throughout the week for poems from our 5th and 8th issues, as well as writing about Caryl and her poetry by me and by Hilary Plum. Then, check back next week for even more! — AS

[Hear One Cry Out]

Hear one cry out
as if threatened–

Sheep act scattering

You emerge from the wings

The town in tow
puts call to trial

Then grumbles back


Under gold light
performance continues

A costumed herd accustomed
to my silence resumes
their place–

gathered upstage
against the back-drop

Back-drop an open field

All day long I keep track of this collection

in spite of lies
that lie

beneath my one line


Watched on watch
I can tell

one grows lonely

hears a whisper through the trees cut-
out along the wall

The scene escapes

Again I cry

You plead
I wait for right cue

Held up
by attention
by terror

by rave

a chance to star

it kills my wonder when
wide interest wanes

I turn
shock-monster growing bold

Told to keep

for damage

real risk appears in shadow now

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