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Julie Carr

Julie Carr was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She attended Barnard College, and though interested in becoming a writer, she focused on dance. After graduating with a B.A. in 1988, she danced for ten years in New York with local companies and choreographers. In 1995, she went to New York University for an M.F.A. in poetry, and, a year later, with the birth of her first child, poetry became her main focus. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006.

Her first collection of poetry, Mead: An Epithalamion (University of Georgia Press, 2004) was selected by Cole Swensen for the University of Georgia Contemporary Poetry Prize. Her other collections include Real Life: An Installation (Omnidawn, 2018), Sarah — of Fragments and Lines (Coffee House Press, 2010), a National Poetry Series winner; 100 Notes on Violence (Ahsahta Press, 2010), selected by Rae Armantrout for the 2009 Sawtooth Poetry Prize; and Equivocal (Alice James Books, 2007). She is also the author of Surface Tension: Ruptural Time and the Poetics of Desire in Late Victorian Poetry (Dalkey Archive, 2013).

In 2011 Carr received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She currently serves as an Associate Professor of English at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is the copublisher, alongside her husband, Tim Roberts, of Counterpath Press. She lives in Denver, Colorado and has three children.

By This Poet

8

House/Boat

So we shoveled it. Climbed over it. When a boy's loved 
he is loved. We kissed him at the countdown

then we went to bed. 
Then I woke and on the screen 

an executioner 
whose wife for him 

was worried. Both on and off the screen

there was still a lot of snow. I went out and stuck my hand in it, 
felt around for a handle. None.

So I picked myself up and walked to the bank. Does it seem 
I am alone? No, not alone. The wind was a friend. Dying and down. 

I bent over,

I listened to the flow. Home, yes, but leaving. Home, sure, fine, but, 
where's the bathroom? Where's the light? Anyway, 

the soft swell said, lisping its S’s, Anyway, 
if you're at home here, you're a guest.  So I bowed. I said 

I'm sorry if I bore you. Broad, 
the river belled in a thud of sun. 

I climbed aboard, I rowed. A border flew open like a cough. 
I leaned back to balance 

my heavy brown oars as they dipped
to green and red furrows of light between water mounds. 

My boat rocked, steady, un-steady. 
Was I welcomed? It seemed I was as I gripped 

and privately beheld. 

The night soon lost its head. I said,
I'm here. Pulling up now,

parking, looking 
for something to eat, to redeem. 

The wind shook the seedpod but the seedpod 
wasn't moved. 

And though I thought I'd done the damage I was born for, 

there was still so much to step through, 
so much to mar.

Think Tank [excerpts]

*



First: The blinding of the citizens

Second: The common plague of worms

(like lute strings, they must be plucked and the wounds spread with fresh butter)

Then: 


This amorousness



*



Old woman cried and was fed her peas—

a worm in mud finding its way around my roots—

or deeply asleep and thus resistant to being read as a morally triumphant being,

she buries her mirror

The sermon says, "there is no you, so no way for you to fail or fall"

In Normandy we bought fish and cake

and the children rode the carousel

These are the dreams we return to:

bread in the sun, oil in the water 

glass in the foot

Blood modifies blood



*



"Let me be my own fool," sitting on the newspaper 

perchance in love with an embryonic heart

prepared to beat 2.5 billion times, and that's all



*



Nothing betray us


But I love the moment when the boy looks down at a homeless man's shoe 

and imagines traveling to the center of the earth, hanging on the shoelace like a rope

A fourteen-line poem on Adoration


        1. It does not take much

        2. Half an hour here, half an hour there

        3. It’s not a “presence” I adore

        4. The erotically swollen moon

        5. Let me go, friends, companions

        6. The soldier watches his kid in a play

        7. He seems nothing less or more than “foreigner”

        8. Grass. Dirt.

        9. The bottle broke and all the women gathered shards

        10. The effect was of inflation

        11. There was only one alive moment in the day

        12. Either I loved myself or I loved you

        13. Just like a mother to say that

        14. “Do you become very much?” she wrote