Wendy Taylor Carlisle

Wendy Taylor Carlisle

Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives and works in the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the author of five chapbooks and four books, including The Mercy of Traffic, (Unlikely Books, 2019) and On the Way to the Promised Land Zoo to be published later this year (Cyberwit.org, Allahabad, India.) Her work appears in the recent anthologies, Untold Arkansas (EtAlia Press, 2018,) 50/50 (Quills Edge Press, 2018), Star 82 Review Pocket Poems, 2019 and​ Fiolet and Wing (Liminal Books, 2019.) For more information, check her web site at www.wendytaylorcarlisle.com

Bambi stands poised on the page, elegant,
beautiful, but I am skeptical of deer. Deer can kill
with their antlers—from the Old French antoillier,
 
a horn in front of the eyes. Is this deer some rogue unicorn?

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Come, tell us your story of romance.

If you only have a bad lover,
then a bad lover it is.

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Invent and invent to make ourselves
guffaw, then we concocted a new
kind of government, a grief project,

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How do you know when it’s done? I admit the children
were wrecked but the sad man gave me reasons to remain—
the sex was sex, his blows weren’t all that harsh and he never
shot at me but once. It’s a gift, I guess, to know how to leave,

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is family style, is by the book.
Is none of my bid'ness.
They have a joy-free smoke,
a homemade drink.

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Many of you have already been taken,
some of us anticipate the slack whoosh and hum

that signal alien arrival above just-cut crop circles.
Many of you, back in your cubicles, wear half-smiles,

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I keep my little principality tidy. Like Genghis Kahn’s nuns, I am a part of a war nation, having no real land or location, taking pain out in ever widening circles. Shouldn’t I travel as the hordes did, living off the conquered, carrying only my broom, a war nation against my own.  It doesn’t take much really. You only have to be hungry and willing to do what it takes to get fed. 

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