Cameron Gearen: Compounded



Little lake
earth’s thimble
glacial sink
take my ache
take the torn girl
the grieved woman
buoy her children
there where
the loon
its catch
where the
pickerel jumps
and the pocked
surface splits
or reflects
Black Mountain
I can’t contain
all I’ve got
to carry let me
leave it to your
silt muck reeds
and granite
to your white
lilies and their
leeches to the
streams that
feed you deep
pond stay
close today
I’m counting
on your volume
your powers
to dilute to be
your gracious
self to ask no
questions pond
absorb receive
ripple then that
lovely silence
will you take
a few of these
troubles pond
and positively
drown them?




That’s when blindness set
in.  Silent movie.  I knew
all those door hinges, their
capacity for swivel.  Ceded
my sight to the cornice’s
stare.  Do you know yourself
a vision veiled?  What
the throat felt: need
clamping (his) / a forced
yield.  It’s a marvel,
scientifically speaking;
it will succumb
unhingingly.  Whatever
wriggling resistance
I came with has been
quashed.  The light
changed, a strange cloudy.
This I could turn or blank
but not pierce.  His mad
rage—desire—dial me
to grunting always
crescendo.  What can
naming solve now?  
Call it, catalogue.
The stubborn cornice
and my stoppered ears.
Aren’t we as hideous
as the most we have seen,
been done to? Not
if we don’t remember.




Hanging lamps dangle over no table.
Witch hazel hands. When the child was small.
You know the list. It starts with silk.
Blind TV shouts Mandarin.
Rubble lot, transport me.
We stack suitcases like popsicles: red green pink.
A place is an envelope for memory.
Like blisters, the inside manifests.
Rust can orange and brown and cut open.
I drip water over American coffee.
We’ll give you the hero’s welcome.
My little slice of heaven: the stinking downstairs store.
The body hiccoughing flamboyance, buoyancy.
The courtyard shows foresight.
Stitching on a red slipper.
Burgeon is a word about growth.
Tingle itch swarm the window.
Cities matter mightily and I’m in one.
Where’s my ladder, means of egress?
What you say is whole my mortar.
Skin poison to the edge of membrane.
Colored newsprint rubs my hands solid.
Buzzered gate: tip the guards.
You say arrive.
You stand in the window and say arrive.

— by Cameron Gearen


Copyright © 2013, by Cameron Gearen. All Rights Reserved.


Cameron Gearen published a chapbook in 2004 entitled Night, Relative to Day and selected by Robert Pinsky.  Her poetry has appeared in Fence, The Antioch Review, the poker, Drunken Boat, Poetry Northwest, The Bellingham Review, River Styx, Quarterly West and elsewhere.  She won the Grolier Prize in 1994, the W.B.Yeats Society Poetry Contest in 2001 and the Lynda Hull Prize from Crazyhorse in 2005.  In 2011, she was a recipient of the Barbara Deming / Money for Women Fund.  She has also been funded by the Connecticut Commission on the Arts.  She lives in Chicago with her husband and two daughters.


Cameron Gearen: Compounded
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