She Has Visions
ISBN: 978-1-59948-916-2, ~64 pages, $14 (+ shipping)
Release Date: November 16, 2022
The Advance Sale Discount price on this title has expired. For those who prefer to pay by check, the price is $18/book (which includes shipping) and should be sent to: Main Street Rag, PO BOX 690100, Charlotte, NC 28227-7001.
Carla Sarett is the author of two novels: The Looking Glass (Propertius Press, 2021) and A Closet Feminist (Unsolicited Press, in press.) Her poems have appeared in Blue Unicorn, Prole, The Naugatuck River Review, Hamilton Stone Review, Thimble among others. Carla has a Ph.D. from University of Pennsylvania and lives in San Francisco. This is her first poetry collection.
Acute, fresh, potent, poems laced with imagination lighting images suffuse Sarett’s elegantly crafted, quietly rendered, compendium of visions. This masterly poet expresses with rare presence the questions, aperçus, and memory entwined conversations that uncomfortably trail loss. If you are amidst the perplexities of later life to which fine poetry speaks best, you will whisper silent thanks. ~Marc Zegans, Author of The Snow Dead and The Underwater Typewriter
This engaging poetic calendar has one item for each week of the year, fifty-one lyrical instances and a poignant preface. What obtains above all in these expressions of being-in-the-world is womanhood, in first and third persons, from girls and mothers to cosmopolitan travelers and grandmothers. Sentiment and intellect are balanced, as are statement and ellipsis. Absence and incompleteness complement presence and plenitude. Discovering images to make sense of the fragility of things and inexorable time. ~ Charles A. Perrone
She Has Visions is a romp, a risk and a ride through life, in which the sharp edges of everyday bump up against old standbys—art, history, film, literature and religion—that can no longer comfort us as we had hoped. The way that Carla Sarett deals with this disappointment is to sprinkle dashes of magical realism here and there in her fascinating poems. ~Patricia Gray, author of Rupture: poems and former director of the Poetry and Literature Center, Library of Congress
Once, dying bees fell on me as I slept naked.
I woke to a blanket of failing wings.
That is true although other things are not.
For example, I cannot say if the stray cats
who wandered through our house at night
are a memory or a memory
of a dream as vivid as John Wayne
talking to his wife’s grave,
in the orange twilight.
I cannot say if wildness is escaping
through every open space, or if it is lying in wait
like the seagulls I imagine flying over my bed
if I forget what I am supposed to do
with all of this living and dying
and everything in between.
So I might as well start at the moment
I leave the door ever
so slightly ajar.
Habit of Want
That winter was always ice or storms,
the weather uncertain, even windier on Houston.
I can’t say why I walked so late
when snow was falling thickly,
and promised to last till dawn.
But in this moonless haze,
this, I know, is what I saw:
A single illuminated storefront
a single dress of flaming crimson,
its skirt a perfect circle,
its neckline a perfect square.
A dress I’d always wanted
without naming my wanting
to go with my black velvet heels.
Returning home, a few blocks over,
to a man I didn’t love and never would,
I wondered how a store, however lit,
could last with one dress,
only darkness behind it.
And when snow had melted,
not that week, but the one after,
I returned to the street I’d walked
alone in daylight and found
I’ve searched for the dress, now and then,
more for the proof of it since
I’ve lost the habit of wanting
things or people and I forget
which street I walked down
in that uncertain season.
The Searchers, Rewound
Oh, that image of John Wayne
lifting the girl up toward open sky,
in troubled sunlight.
Let’s go home, he said,
but she knew what he knew
as family knows family,
once lowered to earth, no one
would raise her again.
She saw her future:
Her death unmourned, except
by her son, Quanah,
leader of the Comanche.
He would fight for the place
where his white mother sang
lullabies in a foreign tongue.
Quanah’s descendants know:
We are all hunters.
We are all hunted.
Is any country so lonely as America?