h o m e........
p a s t   i s s u e s....
s u b m i s s i o n s....
l i n k s






If you were the winner
I'd be the loser. I was younger
but I was thinner. You were taller but
you were standing on a chair.
Competition wobbled.
The light was out.  Like Edison
who wanted to prove Tesla’s alternating current
dangerous so killed an elephant with it. 
Or Stravinsky who called Schoenberg
a chemist.  How long did it take me
to reduce you?
As one tries to trap time into clocks
whose limit is 12
parameters grew smaller.
As if the self isn't lumbering.
As if one doesn’t always find
more than one wants.
No one knows the terrible obstacles
we put in our way.  Over a thousand people
gathered to see an elephant electrocuted.
Stravinsky waited until Schoenberg died
before he used 12 tones.  When did I realize
you, who I competed against,
you, a girl who got on a chair
(was it only to change a bulb?)
was in fact me, and it was me
who (in spite of or because of fear)
kicked the chair out from under you.





For what?  I wanted to make shame abstract,
surreal:  a cliff split, a wheel shift,
a red weal on my pale throat. It’s impact theoretical–
trains colliding, herd of elk on worn highways.
Sound quelled where I hid what I hid and heard you
betray me.

Now I feel the field of shore
disappearing. And the ford I thought I’d cross.
Which ticket, which escape route, affordable?
The forms that once comforted: iamb, amulet –
inchoate.  I am not sure

I am someone who forgives.

When I returned, you were caught
in storm, querulous, your small store of forbearance
gone.  It was brief, this return. 

When I left, what was left
was a cavernous hole. But it could no longer
hold me.




For all those, like me, who have not gotten the instructions right,
excited when calm is called for, who,
when clearing the path, secretly look around for what avenues are open
and easier to navigate.
Who believe the afternoon a fresco, not quite set,
anything could happen, yet complain it’s too warm or not warm
enough. Always the afterlife of afternoon.
Who elicit advice and then resist it. As Darwin’s father begged his son
don’t go to the Galapagos, it will all end
in failure. Who plant failure.
Who feel guilty when they fail to entertain
even the dog; he looks so bored
and disappointed. Who trust the alarm only to find
it was timed to go off later, so miss
the very thing they thought they’d trained for.  Who pretend
that the greed in their hearts
is going on behind their backs and they don’t know a thing
about it. Who are beside themselves
trying to get out of their own way,
giving the lie to ecstasy:  standing outside ourselves. 
What is it I want? To have faith
in my life.
There, I’ve told you.  Now it’s your turn. 



BIO: Carole Glasser Langille is the author of four books of poetry and two collections of short stories. She has been nominated for The Governor General's Award in Poetry and the Atlantic Poetry Prize. She teachers Creative Writing: Poetry at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Currently, she is Artist/Writer in Residence at the Dalhousie Medical School for 2016.



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