Rae Gouirand



Now where are all my new recipes?
Now where is my smoother leather?
Now where is my little breeze? I have
been keeping these straps up far too long.

Time to upright the shelves
of references. I'll hide the remains.
I'll fling open this window & wave
geraniums above the avenue. Set my eyes

on the night & get caught up in it.
Reminder of the stitches to be removed.
Reminders of devotions. Let's not neglect
the long dusty lines settled into the carpets. Let's

pretend to be putting it all back
where it came from. I'll be signing
my name at the bottom of these letters.
Doyenne of a mind. Surrounded on all sides.



Minimum and maximum,
the ampersand

quavers before its spectre, breath
neither fermata

nor form. In the agrapha floats
a single original,

pangaea and capillary concealing
systole, diastole

versus the line of verse, collapsing
like a fern.



In a technical sense, I wrote "Evenly" because I wanted to think about what is traded off in written language that embraces the ampersand. Such a mark claims to augment or join the parties on either side, but I've often found myself wanting to use it to reduce or split the whole. By way of the seam that is drawn. In another sense, I wanted to collapse the feelings of reading and following in this poem. There are so many poems about writing—and definitely not enough about reading.