I was reading the Summer 2012 issue of Fence and came across a poem from a series entitled 35 Breakfast Poems. The poems utilize repetition and have multiple layers of narrative. They also manage to use commonplace words, but to still evoke mystery. I was hooked and wanted to know more about the writer.
The poet is Allison Carter, a fellow LA writer, and it’s great to come across another treasure in this great city for writers (yes I said it!). Below, check out the first poem from Allison’s collection or, if you are an editor, ask her for the rest of the manuscript to consider publishing it.
From 35 Breakfast Poems
My love and I wake up early.
We have gone on a walk,
gone to the store, seen the doctor, watered the plants
and we are now only sitting down to breakfast.
1. Breakfast in the Design Hall of Portraits
Breakfast in the design hall of portraits starts
at 9:00 in the morning.
Whoever knows must dress to go to a diorama daily,
she must shrink. Breakfast in the design hall
of portraits lasts all day.
My sister who keeps waking up
behind Plexiglass knows
about it, gets dressed
in tiny clothes, brings her camera
for breakfast in the design hall of portraits.
She knows where we all went,
how our time was spent idly– She tells us.
Outdoors, we can only assume
that grandmother peers underneath, East–
we close our eyes halfway to see
the hairline vein of the edge of the eye in half-light.
Breakfast in the design of portraits consoles my sister.
We stay there all day, all week.
Around the wooden table, my sister and me,
We get our own pair of antlers:
venison breakfast in the design hall of portraits.
Sometimes we stand on the heavy table to stretch
our hamstrings, bend sideways to stretch our ribs,
gaze past the stars past the roof to stretch
the neck that carries our brains that need
to stretch and stretch—
Breakfast in the design hall of portraits is my invitation only.
Can you please pass more coffee
(At 7:00 in the evening we light the lights.
Portrait photographs are devils, so handsome at night.)
Previously published in Fence.
About the Author
Photo by Harold Abramowitz
Allison Carter is the author of A Fixed, Formal Arrangement (Les Figues Press) and Here Vs. Elsewhere (forthcoming from Insert Blanc Press) as well as several shorter collections, including Sum Total (Eohippus Labs), All Bodies Are The Same and Have The Same Reactions (Blanc Press) and Shadows Are Weather (Horse Less Press). Allison teaches creative writing to adolescents and adults suffering from Eating Disorders in Los Angeles, CA.