Sunday Jul 14

OedingCarrie Carrie Oeding's first book of poems, Our List of Solutions, is from 42 Miles Press. She is Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Marshall University. Her website can be found here.


The Roped Years

After the age of disconnection came the age of connection.

One couple tied each end of a three-foot rope around a wrist. They connected.

They touched each other less. They touched each other more. They pretended not to know each other. They decided not to know each other. They decided not to touch. They touched. They found their rules. They broke them. They danced.

They worked from home, which was convenient, that this worked out. They weren’t trying to destroy their lives or anything.

Some evenings he sketched her. She drew over it.
They made sentences as long as the rope.

This wasn’t competitive or a sedative, an adjective or a noun.
This wasn’t, How do you go to the bathroom? Wasn’t kink. Wasn’t exhibition.

Could this be about anything else than intimacy?

Whether the other ate or not, they never dined alone.

They didn’t talk one day, all day, then a few days, seeing if they could read each other’s minds. I am trying to read you. I am trying to read you! It became a line for awhile,

but the rope, always one.
A line of what to do, not what to say.

The rope not as telephone string or psychic cord.
Not a symbol of intimacy.
Not a connection through confessions, obsessions, secrets, mindreading.

They used the rope to lasso each other.  
They stood apart and made fractions.
The rope as border, this side and that side, on the bed,
across the shower, on the supermarket floor.

Other people thought the couple was stupid, which brought these other people closer together.

Catapulting a Light Pole Through the Air Would be the Most Beautiful Shooting Star

I used to think all of this was about the impossible. An attraction to chairs made of bubble wrap and denim canoes. Or identical tears. Crying tears upward.

That I can't slingshot a light pole through the air. How I wanted to. SlingSHOOT? Shooting star. 

You can indeed, however, sling and fling a light pole through the air. You need the right tools and materials. I don't have the right tools, and I don't want to learn how to build these things.

I thought I did.
Because it’s possible, now I don’t want to do it?

Action, action, action.

I thought I just couldn't find the patience to build whimsy—that this lack of patience was about failed desires.
         But I didn’t give up on anything.

I love the idea of a glass hammer and nails. If you made these, I love that you thought it was impossible and now here they are. But you were mistaken, because here they are.

This is a poem that wants nothing.

I love the idea of it, and this love is not inaction. It’s not action, either. But it’s not lacking action.
Ms. Jackson, if you’re nasty.

Unrelated, everything is succeeding.

Unrelated, everyone is convinced they are actions, they are moving, and thus something is right, perfect, just normal enough to look up at night skies.