transcendental ethel

Carrie Chappell

6. once,

i// was a girl

to this day,

i// can be
on the subject
of canoes, camp-
fire songs, rope,
kindling. listen,

5. i// want to go away.


another breath, another bemoan—love
is an always crisis.         corn was never my credo,
so i// never went wishing for someone there.

you know where. i// cut a rug and ran into a
tapestrie. there joined the campaign, the
circus. i// mean, i//
began caring, became


minded. a careless. fucking joy-lover. joy-

digger. oh joy. ode.    odious.         oedipus.            i // think we are blind, that the directions to our best
regions are lost in our eyes. joy. is held in a sweaty
palm or in a green field of (ode to) soy. don’t listen. don’t look

for someone. for somewhere there. don’t go looking for it.
i// swear. it’s better to get lost on the little stuff.
to take the helm
of a candy bar. like. take me for instance,

a girl
at heart, wanting, what (?)
only a cookie
and to use my


4. from what i// remember, i// do know, do now

—bees do run
from snapping
fingers, snakes
from ground-
stomping, and kindness

above all, humility, too.—


you pointed me
down a trail. gosh,

thank you,


3. for pointing the way

to the future—

an american girl has options. a girl scout no less. has options, is what they’ll say.

and the dreams will ignite. and for some paris. for paris some
will ignite.

how to live it:

version 1: be a woman’s woman, but live for men, love the ones you’re with but also the far-aways. spend your time. telling everybody you miss them and then eat your blues in baguettes. own jewelry but wish to accept more, be bi-lingual curious! be baby-sitter swank! stomp the ground for snakes. wait for scooters, the kiss, the la defense legs, be ok with champagne pictures until. until. (*dream referred
to on most paris blogs.)


version 2: be a poet, ok, maybe just a writer, hang yourself up on homonyms, find yourself often taken with simple French rhymes: dommage chômage! dommage fromage!, be happy being cute for French men for a week until feminist moods set in, then find a new one, snap your fingers at the proverbial bees, be a functioning drunk, functioning introvert, try to break the stereotype.( *dream deferred, citation:
too difficult.)


i// think that’s it.

2. so, they shut me up in booze—and

i// am, i// professed, a troubled
roamantic—i// fit your—i//am the
daguerreotyped. as when a little
girl moves to a dream place,
calling yesterdays into—like

everybody i// sat upon a table, eating
mixed meats. everyone stood in my
way. and i// felt a friendly nothing. i //

had my tools—a set of earrings
succinctly wed to my lobes, a pair
of pants that blacked with every black,
and a you, distant person somehow
made into the criminal so i// could stand

away, spewing forth my jesus christs
just enough to make a small religion,
just enough to cast iron the long
breath of my short history. go. go forth, for christ’s sake forward, i// said

to myself, hither filth, fortune.

1. there, here—

with my planets arestin’ and my
chambers full of speech, i// lie
still in the thought of my many
shelters.          i// have fallen

where i// fall

and wandered out, a girl pulling
at her wet shorts tight and
knotting at the crotch. being
stranded wasn’t near as bad as
i// had thought, i// had lived and
tamed a many a thing. glares
more genuine exhausted in
their ravines, where trees
stand like old men, lampposts        poles to be
vaulted and i // a girl

scout sashaying where
bees grip
my ankles, picking with honey
spines the flesh i// i// i// storm(ed) in.

transcendental ethel