HELLO by Carol Ellis
Hello is an elegant collection of poems. Distilled experience, now words. Small moment after small moment, zoomed in upon. The camera lingers.
Carol Ellis was born in Detroit, Michigan and lives in Portland, Oregon. She’s been around the academic block with her Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa. She is the author of two chapbooks: HELLO and I Want A Job (Finishing Line Press, 2014). Her poems and essays are or will be published in anthologies and journals including ZYZZYVA, Comstock Review, The Cincinnati Review, Saranac Review, and Cider Press Review. In 2015 she spent time in Cuba writing a book and giving readings.
PUBLICATIONS AND PRIZES
Dan River Anthology (Dan River Press, 1986), Faces of the Moon, A Women's Poetry Anthology (Laurel Press, 1981)
Alehouse Press, American Writing, Birmingham Poetry Review, Black Heart Magazine, California Quarterly, Cider Press Review, Cloudbank, Coe Review, Connecticut River Review, Dominion Review, Feelings, North Dakota Quarterly, Pacifica Literary Review, Panoply, San Pedro River Review, Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices, South, Cincinnati Review, The Coachella Review, The Comstock Review, The Whirlwind Review, TXTOBJX, VoiceCatcher, White Pelican Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Worksheet, ZYZZYVA
I Want A Job (Finishing Line Press, 2014)
Love Seat for Sale—$75 OBO
The beige boat parked outside
says I’m supposed to leave by water
says the seas wait for me
to finger their waves, jump into the air,
those are rivers and the thick orange of salmon leap further than a hook and line can catch
or not further and caught to sit
on the far side of this couch, this shortened
version of a relationship implied
by the love tacked in front of it. What do the fish say aside from talking endlessly about water
and the bears that come to snatch them out
and yum another tasty
critter eaten out of view. I’m sitting on the near side
by the window and don’t even own
this piece of pie this furniture, only saw it for sale
and imagine the happiness
of the couple as they buy
the hope that goes with it all those fish dinners
the smell fills the house and on the side, a baked potato.
Another unanswered question. Somewhere in the world. A map of many streets all in different cities. Not enough to unknow. The woman next door makes that noise with her garbage cans. The early morning truck. The late morning truck. Impossible sleep. Either cold or hot. Unable to identify myself during the photographs of constant unheard noise. My silence within your silence. Where are you? Every morning is another tear to swallow. I drink black coffee and salty ocean water. This island rises out of water. I am entire. No. Apart. Far. Will we get together later? Have you left forever and only the marketplace sells you as an idea a good idea missing a body without the space you left to travel now one traveler gone another lost in the loss. The untied knot. Rope falls to ground rising into dust and the animal wanders away. I’ll go alone and then we’ll go together. As if all that time together never was the proof of grief proving again again again. More clouds. More water. Your empty bowl. I drink.