Carrie Olivia Adams

Intervening Absence
Ahsahta, 2009

A Useless Window
Black Ocean

A USELESS WINDOW is a chapbook partially or wholly contained in the new book, INTERVENING ABSENCE. Adams is poetry editor of Black Ocean, so the chap is either collaboratively published or led to that position there; they are having an open reading period now. I am thinking of entering. So, I'm trying to psych out the editor from the work, always a risky proposition, as the editor or judge's past choices or even essays are more reliable an indication than the work. Such is the difference between what we like and what we write, or even what we think we write and what we actually write.

Adams' chapbook, in review at Coldfront, is reportedly operating under a RUBRIC more than a project or a philosophy (even though the opening quote is from Kierkegaard).

One of the recurring happenings in the poems is something vague is conjured with false specificity, as in an intervening absence:

"A red room speaking
of the night’s egress.


A white bird
in your open hand
in this red room:

the brilliance of the moment
in which the invisible gleams
from the edges."

A little recollection of the red wheelbarrow, here, but "night's egress" "brilliance of the moment," "in which the invisible gleams / from the edges": "so much depends" (and the red vehicle, and the white bird).


..."Consumed somewhere
by couch cushions, the door frame.
Was it the black pearl of the afternoon moving seamlessly
into night?"

In the book, there is some play between layout and "intervening absence" (as a rubric, as a "repeated title") and the distance between titles and poems -- espcially poems in untitled-individually sections.


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