In the latest issue:

The American Virus

Eliot Weinberger

The Home Life of Inspector Maigret

John Lanchester

Story: ‘Have a Seat in the Big Black Chair’

Diane Williams

The Last Whale

Colin Burrow

In Beijing

Long Ling

Princess Margaret and Lady Anne

Rosemary Hill

At the Movies: ‘Arkansas’

Michael Wood

Ruin it your own way

Susan Pedersen

At Home

Jane Miller

The Ottoman Conundrum

Helen Pfeifer

Poem: ‘Muntjac’

Blake Morrison

Piketty’s Revolution

Geoff Mann

Short Cuts: In Tripoli

Jérôme Tubiana

Coetzee Makes a Leap

Christopher Tayler

At Auckland Castle: Francisco de Zurbarán

Nicola Jennings

Drain the Swamps

Steven Shapin

Diary: In the Isolation Room

Nicholas Spice

‘Deer (not a play)’Anne Carson
Close
Close
Vol. 29 No. 22 · 15 November 2007
Poem

‘Deer (not a play)’

Anne Carson

429 words

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. Fawn.
JH:
Dad? Far out. A deer. What? I said deer. A deer standing here. White spots on it.
DEER:
Hum
over this Fool stalkers! Try it
My eyes
LD:
There he goes
JH:
Fast motherfucker. Listen, Dad –
LD:
You hit one of those say goodbye to your car.
JH:
I made it in England, Dad . . . Right . . . OK . . . No it rained here . . . Yes . . . OK you go
back to your supper . . . Bye now . . . OK Dad . . . bye.
LD:
What’d he say? About you in England.
deer [now gone in woods]:
My eyes can see
310
degrees around every lick you sail with your tickets gurgling Why have you tied all
that to your arms and legs? Drinking black trees clawing
milk
from the mushrooms no I’m not your shy friend
JH:
What he always says, Whale away Jim.
LD:
Got their own angle don’t they, dads.
JH:
Oh don’t they.
LD:
. . .
JH:
. . .
LD:
What is it about deer.
JH:
. . .
LD:
Something.
JH:
They’re clear then they’re gone. As if it didn’t happen type thing.
LD:
Maybe.
JH:
A voice can be like that sometimes. Ever hear J.B. Lenoir?
LD:
I don’t believe so.
JH:
Hear a voice like that. Kind of high. Clear. Sudden. You looking into the man inside.
LD:
You know a lot of musicians?
JH:
No. Well, some.
LD:
John Lennon?
JH:
Vaguely.
LD:
Vaguely [laughs]. Well here we are Heathrow. You seem to have some fans waiting.
JH:
Look like it. Whoah Nelly.
LD:
I’ll drive on to the next gate – they won’t see you.
JH:
No, let me out here this is good. OK man, thanks.
[Exeunt LD in car, JH out of car into crowd]
DEER:
leap exactly Hum
Hum
over this
Try zones
blown lungs
so strangely relaxed
have you
whitecold
as if I were earth so strangely relaxed
Piss down my leg
flag up a whitetail
You stand here there
breaking with hints
My stain goes to you
open like this I dip I
and vanish
[Exit]

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

letters@lrb.co.uk

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences