Anne Carson, from “The Glass Essay”

I

I can hear little clicks inside my dream.
Night drips its silver tap
down the back.
At 4 A.M. I wake. Thinking

of the man who
left in September.
His name was Law.

My face in the bathroom mirror
has white streaks down it.
I rinse the face and return to bed.
Tomorrow I am going to visit my mother.

SHE

She lives on a moor in the north.
She lives alone.
Spring opens like a blade there.
I travel all day on trains and bring a lot of books—

some for my mother, some for me
including The Collected Works Of Emily Brontë.
This is my favourite author.

Also my main fear, which I mean to confront.
Whenever I visit my mother
I feel I am turning into Emily Brontë,

my lonely life around me like a moor,
my ungainly body stumping over the mud flats with a look of transformation
that dies when I come in the kitchen door.
What meat is it, Emily, we need?

Bertolt Brecht, “Hollywood Elegies”

1

Under the long green hair of pepper trees,
The writers and composers work the street.
Bach’s new score is crumpled in his pocket,
Dante sways his ass-cheeks to the beat.

2

The city is named for the angels,
And its angels are easy to find.
They give off a lubricant odor,
Their eyes are mascara-lined;
At night you can see them inserting
Gold-plated diaphragms;
For breakfast they gather at poolside
Where screenwriters feed and swim.

3

Every day, I go to earn my bread
In the exchange where lies are marketed,
Hoping my own lies will attract a bid.

4

It’s Hell, it’s Heaven: the amount you earn
Determines if you play the harp or burn.

5

Gold in their mountains,
Oil on their coast;
Dreaming in celluloid
Profits them most.