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... enter Norma Jeane as Mr Truman Capote]Norma Jeane:                           Enter chorus.                           I am my own chorus.                           I think of my chorus as Mr Truman Capote.                           He was a good friend, he told me the truth.                           You’ll never admit it when you’ve made a mess,                           he said to me once                           and that was true ...

Burners Go Raw

Anne Carson, 26 February 2009

... Burners medieval dark mud on a road a dark morning, falling back through memories a faint pain, dark uphill way the usual alone and gravel picking my step out where nothing, out hoping, hope sinking, slope rising, that dark colour, almost rain, a thing impending, how to get home the perfect lamplight from which out where nothing though I can almost taste it oh yes today, if today is your example today I could get back the cold slope just a foil the drear rain almost Brontë but one day no, one day that dark mud is the whole rigging the entire arrangement every north south sideways song pleading past the end of the soundtrack and then we’ll see and then we’ll spend, then we’ll be the burners Go snow woke me, light soaking out of snow straying up from lawns hedges caves coves pawing in through blinds through eyelids like a strain on the night, the night could not bear this strain I am here in my white shell I said Here I am I went out to help the night, no that’s not how it was go again, go nightingale, sometimes starting up from sleep lost from you is all one piece with the night itself that thing desolate stretched roving in it as if childhood came back deep in tides or a dream of a face turned away ...

Walks for Girls and Boys

Anne Carson, 6 July 2006

... for RC 1. Huron River We walked by the river its arms all gold in winter sun like tin. Workshops of afternoon hummed along elsewhere. We noted ice at the shore and ice on plants and ice from the light fixtures under the railway bridge exploding – Squid, you said. Time toppled past us. There were no trains, no sunset. Geese lapped at an edge, eyes inward on their sunk city ...

On Davey

Anne Carson, 3 January 2019

... Gods do not fall, falling is human. Fall at the start, from between the knees of your mother to the ground. Fall again at the end. Gods, no. Even when new they didn’t lose their balance. They never will now. Even in battle they glare and fuss and stumble, receive light wounds, but don’t hit the ground. Have very little to do with the ground. Traverse it faster than thought ...


Anne Carson, 22 September 2011

... What did he want from me. I visit old Europe. I fail at purity. I do not find Marietta. I didn’t really look for Marietta. I wouldn’t know how to recognise the woman. Atrocity tourism offers the poet many an opportunity to get pure. Before leaving for Krakow I got a call to visit Lezek. Now you have seen her perhaps you will be inspired. Turning to the camera ...

‘Deer (not a play)’

Anne Carson: Jimi and the Deer, 15 November 2007

... SCENE: Sunday. England. Country road. CAST: deer Jimi Hendrix limo driver [Enter deer from woods on right. Stops, stands still on road] DEER: Heart is wild muscle Hum [Limo with JH in back approaches on road. JH on cell phone] JH: So. Dad. I’m in England. LD: Look we got a deer. JH: What? LD: There. JH: Just standing. LD: They do that. DEER: Thin to the leap goes exactly what tired you up what bracken breaking Hum to keep on Hum LD: Young one ...

Good Dog

Anne Carson, 25 February 2010

... I was waiting for you to get to work ‘A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island’ Frank O’Hara 1 You know the second person in the history of the world the Sun chose to speak to personally was Frank O’Hara, the first was Orpheus [me]. You are my Sweetheart said the Sun. He was sitting on the hood of his truck. Somehow it was menacing ...
... for Wally and Deborah and Larry and André Go to the Wally Shawn play, it is hopeless, I mean production impeccable, philosophy hopeless. Yet it gives me hope! Figure this out. Next day listening to Sam Cooke what comes to me in a dawn café is: no need to fear death. There will be a tunnel and light. Order a tofu burrito. C. comes in looking lively ...

Two Poems

Anne Carson, 8 August 2002

... Swimming in Circles in Copenhagen A Sonnet Sequence The palace guards, the palace guards telephoned to ask for shards. I sent out the hard dogs. Dark swallow. It is no simple red, he said. Each thread spun from a different reason for marrying. Dark swallow. This sparkle of anyone, all too soon. All too, all too soon flaming. Dark swallow. Claiming to have no word for ‘desire’, you brimming burning glukupikros liar, you candybitter being ...

Zeus Bits

Anne Carson, 17 November 2005

... ZEUS PAUSES AMID WRITING HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY] How everyone thinks him a happy-go-lucky guy. True and not true, don’t give the ending away. Rhyme angst with spanks? Bit of a buzz on the old loins yet. [ZEUS DECIDES TO DO HIS OWN TAXES THIS YEAR] Deduct the corpse of Helen from the corpse of war (net). ‘Victory’ (adjusted gross). ‘Virtue’ (attach schedule E ...

Two Sonnets

Anne Carson, 3 February 2011

... Merce Sonnet Narrative some dance is.    Other not.    Two opposite places to start  Telling stories:    Graham, Martha.    Take a name. Play a part.     Fame, on the other hand,    Cunningham, Merce    got, a lot,    by making the place     of the proper noun    empty but hot ...

Final Choral Ode

Anne Carson: Final Choral Ode from ‘Norma Jeane Baker of Troy’, 24 October 2019

... NORMA JEANE: Hear that? Living skulls! What are we doing here? What war at Troy? Does anyone care? Gods of love and hate! Aren’t they the same god? All of us, all our lives, searching for the one perfect enemy – you, me, Helen, Paris, Menelaos, all those crazy Greeks! all those hapless Trojans! my dear beloved Jack! Jack and I fought all the time ...

Four Talks

Anne Carson, 6 January 2022

... Short Talk on TodtnaubergCelan came up the mountain to visit the philosopher. He came on a wooden cart and was surrounded by a snowstorm. He felt ashamed. Shame is unreasonable. The philosopher was unashamed. He kept whistling. Snow was blinding them both. In the Hütte (hut, cabin, refuge, shelter, small house built of readily available materials) there was only one chair, a hard chair ...

A Fragment of Ibykos Translated Six Ways

Anne Carson, 8 November 2012

... Ibykos fr. 286, Poetae Melici Graeci] In spring, on the one hand, the Kydonian apple trees, being watered by streams of rivers where the uncut garden of the maidens [is] and vine blossoms swelling beneath shady vine branches bloom. On the other hand, for me Eros lies quiet at no season. Nay rather, like a Thracian north wind ablaze with lightning, rushing from Aphrodite accompanied by parching madnesses, black, unastonishable, powerfully, right up from the bottom of my feet [it] shakes my whole breathing being ...

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