top of page

C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

i can’t think with you staring at me; claire standish; hallucinations in severance

By: Carrie MacLeod

i can’t think with you staring at me

wash then / forwarding

entire mother shell

speaks grist / lines developed for

elderly leisure / alone by the

pool & tempted to wear nothing

she spits to be done with the divine

headache / & all babies / at war

in the hollow of her eye

interrupted / particle of dust settling

to flower / a watery cushion

erasing stray marks / generous

disadvantage / several softened icons

manifesting / at the boiling point

she prays for disaster in small installments

two ripe pears sliced & again / several

torn magazines / if nausea were a cereal this

would make better reading / she thinks

to become dull / first become plain / then

become hollow / in holiness however

in suspicion she breaks small objects

as if testing her ability to withstand

withering vessel / declining witness

to plenary gaze / she does an awkward

backbend / collapsing / we weep &


claire standish

a rare hand swallows its tide

like a hem

& nearer the selfish bath

i am neither washing nor in love

with the dropped

she sang if she said

i know this crane = a wall

& dress while there is no dress

to sacrifice paleness or the ugly

dreaming weekend

when i am counted

will they lift my arms

to see the new wave

& plow spoiling friends

i can’t hear the hissing or your

microwave bullet breakfast

my sister left a voicemail that

sounded like superior drums

forced of their own pounding

in anger that i argue

is fair but atonal we weld

our hands to the wooden spoon &

forty-five minutes later

she is on the phone

complaining that

the cello is useless &

her hands a european joke

i am dry to begin with

unmarried & mute

hallucinations in severance

mere isometrics in whose

grim torque i play violin

to disturb your selfishness

only the truly pissed off will

respond / others climb furniture

& borrow my cotton / through

screens of dismembered paint

i feed false air to warehouses

& know their plea to reach the

seventh floor

in orange microdresses / deciding

one night is a barred form

is a cold smear is a sour cake

& tomorrow we exchange purses

in an open air flea market where

my hair is high & wound into

a clasping flower

do they say we are armed

or ivory-billed

delayed post-haste delivered front door

i break into my neighbor’s apartment

& steal the mail

why is it all so dull


Carrie MacLeod is a disabled poet/musician from Trenton, New Jersey. She studied poetry at the University of Maine, Western Connecticut State, and the New School. Her poems can be found in SUSAN/The Journal and Q/A Poetry. She lives in Maine with her children and cats.


bottom of page