Posts Tagged ‘Carrie Olivia Adams’

The New Census: Carrie Olivia Adams

Our feature of Rescue Press’ new anthology of contemporary poetry, The New Census, continues this week with new poetry by contributors to the anthology. Today we have new work from Carrie Olivia Adams. You can purchase the anthology here.

from Daughter of a Tree Farm

A widow, belonging by fire. A beehive’s swarm of bees attacking a bear, made small. Finishing schools to earn the well-known favorite honor of departure. A peeress, a remarkable beauty against her will, to liaison the leaves. She lived for the remainder in the village buried near the church in the sight of God, the view of man, took part in the battle.


A body that medicine has given up, refuses to diagnose. I finished, I cried, separated. In mathematics, I soon forgot the mark at hearing the heroines myself. It was so windy there. Our family had not seen our way back. Almost daily, handed a proposal of struggle. How else to combat the farm’s idleness? The itch of still. I did not think it was possible. It goes on like this. I shall go and tell everything or shoot. Life had passed. The force of the need. Fate and activity began to consider their origin but did not like to be called in. I remember how to listen to anything new. We lived a recall that passed us by; we followed nothing. I desired nothing else but to develop as though they were living. I had no other proof.

THERMOS 5: Carrie Olivia Adams

Four years ago, I wrote a review of Carrie Olivia Adams’ first full-length collection of poetry, Intervening Absence (Ahsahta, 2009) for Denver Quarterly. “Through prodding lines that make moments of ‘nothing’ pulse,” I concluded, “Adams proves that an ‘intervening absence’ is not an oxymoronic convolution but a unique phenomenon of presence.” Convolution?!? Oh, Savich. I should’ve said I read the book on a porch swing and immediately invited her to send poems for the 5th print issue of THERMOS. Since then, Carrie has hosted me at a poetry reading in her home (biscuits) and become my editor at Black Ocean; it’s rare to have an editor whose poetry you admire so much. She’s also published a terrific new collection, Forty-One Jane Does, with Ahsahta. “Dear Astronomer, / What do you do during the daylight?” one poems begins. “She had tried to leave her body behind. / But it would not stay,” says another, lines I think of on many walks. You can read more about her new book and order it directly from Ahsahta’s site. — ZS

from Operating Theater


When? When will I remember? Not how. But when.

At first, I will remember every day. Maybe several times a day. Tomorrow, I will say it happened yesterday. I will remember yesterday. And then the day after tomorrow and after and after. For many days, I will remember. And then there will come a time when I won’t recall immediately how long it has been. I will count in my mind and on my fingers and only then will I know. Eventually, I will forget. I will forget for a very long time. It will lie dormant. And then one day the bus will be late, I’ll catch someone’s eye, I’ll hear someone catch their breath. And I won’t know whether it really happened—that moment—or whether I had been waiting for an excuse to make it happen. But then it won’t matter. I will remember this.

I want to know how long I have to wait until I remember again.


I spend a lot of time thinking about the ocean. It began with gathering.

I gather you might want to shut the door. I gather this day is a marker.

I gather days. I gather light, lost in frames and thresholds. I gather the ocean.

I gather the ocean opens and closes like lips or fingers speaking.

It’s true, most stories like this begin in the forest. But ours might be a boat overturned. Our luggage bobbing and sinking.

I gather splintered wood. I gather splashing arms and feet. I gather I am not sure whether to struggle.

Or how hard to struggle. To slow and gather strength…the strength to stop swimming

[ Other]
I’ve made a machine. It makes memories.
No. No that’s not quite right.
It makes remembering possible. No.
It remembers for me? Perhaps.
Yet, sometimes I remember things the machine doesn’t make.

{A list of some things that remember what’s there, even when we can’t see it:

A globe
An astrolabe
A lighthouse
A recipe
A dress}

The precise memory span of a Betta fish is exactly 16.4 seconds.
This is a lie.
Elephants never forget.