￼ Her mother killed by a suicide. A miniature shrine to his wife’s ashes. teddy bear forgotten in the rain; future bird’s nest A movie based on a haircut. Limps a little but never spills a drink. Gina’s rejected lover. What the cat likes. Homeless man on his day off. Looking at people’s faces in the dark, noticing details. Sex the least pleasure. The Glass Man who cannot leave the house. The event that changed her life forever, a series of concatenated mysteries. He has come to her apartment, he is writing a note. She is listening at the door. She picks up the note. It says “I’ll be back.” She peers out the window, he is walking across the street. The phone rings. She jumps. She picks it up, he says: go into the bedroom. She is crying. There are lit candles around the TV, the neighbor comes on the TV, tells her to stop being afraid. She goes to the door and he is there. She touches his lips, she pulls him into her apartment, the door shuts of its own accord. They look at each other, she kisses his cheek, then his other one. A bird flies through like a jet. Why do we like the excessively cute? A 1950’s font. Pretend innocence. cherries for earrings A game of dominos. Coke bottle glasses. The sound of drinking through a straw. Piano, but only the high notes. Games with ribbon and coins. Everyone’s quirks narrated, silly things they hate, (like it is the silly things we hate that makes life livable). Home schooled, deprived of schoolmates. And how, because of neglect, the excitement caused by merely being touched leads her father to think she has a heart condition. Suicidal goldfish; the suicidal impulse made into something cute, and how sex in the toilettes of the restaurant is just so cute with all the bottles about to fall off the shelf. Rabbit in the clouds. ￼ Instamatic, the cause of accidents. Amelie gets her revenge. One’s childhood discovered by a stranger and returned. Until they discover snowballs. Reading the English subtitles, wondering if it is as oversimplified as a man’s view of what women want? Off they flew to Panama. Black Lion died of heartbreak. Saved love letters of someone not in love. The grocer might know the answer. Elephant mom! a glaring merci The name you are after. I like everything. They were Northerners. Following the sound of a subway busker in an empty subway station. It is a blind man playing an LP on a record player. Groping under the photo booth. in shyness running away Father is polishing the gnome. Standing in the wind. Endives on the menu. Madame Suzanne, Madame Suzanne Bredoteau. Impersonating a petitioner and census taker. The descending casket, the lesbian come on. Bretodeau not Bredoteau. You need a little mulled wine. I never go out on the landing. My name is Raymond Dufayel. The Luncheon of the Boating Party, by Renoir. ￼ Maybe she’s just different. How shyness is not a defect but a quirk, and is that why those of us who love(d) Amelie so much, love(d) it so much? He’ll go no further than this phone booth. During the musical interlude, I start looking at pictures of Cassandra Gillig on facebook and wonder if we would be friends in real life. The flashback with the marbles, all the marbles. Cognac, please. The phone booth was calling me. Too shy to look at the man who’s day/year you just made. A scent in the air.The blind man. She tells a million sighted stories to him narrating
everything she sees that he cannot know about in a sort of crazy
rush like vocalized running. In real life this might be considered
offensive but maybe generosity is maybe always offensive.Looking down at the sad people in the apartments below hers. She looks at her happiness, makes fun of her loneliness, watches TV in bed, in her cute bed, watching a fantasy of her funeral. Eating popcorn while crying into a Kleenex box. It was a losing battle. X-ray heart. A three person chase. Tripping through monks. She got his picture book, pages full of discarded photos from the photobooth. Now a matchmaker. He always sits at number 8. Letter arrives 30 years late. Funny about this glacier. Lyon station. A dead man scared of being forgotten. The girl with the glass. The cat’s tail thumps on the bedspread. He’s pasted Lady Di’s face over all the models. Keys cut while you wait. His 30th book rejection. We pass the time of day to forget how time passes. He says: go into the bedroom. She is crying. There are lit candles around the TV, the neighbor comes on the TV, tells her to stop being afraid. A guy who keeps a journal about disasters in the future. She is so shy, but not too shy to sneak into the fruitstand owner’s
house without his knowledge. Creating future accidents and mishaps. Cutting shoelaces.
Replacing toothpaste with foot cream, putting doorknobs
on backwards, putting salt in the liquor, resetting his alarm clock to 4 AM. Not too shy to read poetry to the ticket taker. Turning into Zorro. ￼ He gets up at 4:00, cannot open the bathroom door, screams while
brushing his teeth, puts twine in his shoe, gets to work two hours early. She calls Porno Video Palace. Sleeping in the cauliflower. It’s my dyspepsia. She is so shy but not too shy to go into the porno shop. Before, he collected footprints. Times are hard for dreamers. His name is Nino Quincompoix. The most romantic BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO from a skeleton ever. ￼ The photos talk to him. she calls him on a pay phone. follow the blue arrows. Whether I find love boring because I’m jaded or just old. Pigeons eating an arrow made of birdseed. The fool looks at a finger that points to the sky. Tourist lookout point. This is so boring to me now. I’m clicking See Translation on Facebook comments of my Japanese friends. The father gets more photos in the mail of the traveling gnome. She knits and dances at the cigarette counter while he reads her a
newspaper story. His friend cannot remember what she looked like. A pound of nectarines. Sells leeks all day long. Even artichokes have hearts. More trickery to the mean guy. An orange-colored day. The cat meowed through tossed aside letters she is faking. The blue lamp. Time-lapse cinematography she is cutting and cutting papers
to make a perfect forgery. He walks into his apartment wondering what will have gone wrong now. She could have killed him with that electrical thing she did. He calls his mom, but it is the psychiatric hotline. He goes to drink the salty alcohol, spits it all over the camera. Where & when posted everywhere The time is exactly 11:40. Zorro in the photobooth. I’m looking at pictures of my Texas cousins on facebook. I want to see more people I know. The guy tap dancing with one leg. The mailman comes with the wind. And the gnome is somewhere else. She takes a photo of herself in costume and rips it up for him to find. A strange racist fantasy involving borscht and a sheep explaining why he is late. Too too shy to speak to him and into a puddle. She’s fond of stratagems. Blowing on a stone before skipping it. Against charges of racism, Jeunet says his film is not racially homogeneous
because they have the Arabic character, though he is named a French name,
Lucien, and he is portrayed as “simple.” One of your booths is out of order. Women need air. Failure is human destiny. She collects proverbs. Amelie is upset and looks puffy so she makes pastries. He has come to her apartment, he is writing a note. She is listening at the door,
she picks up the note. It says “I’ll be back.” She peers out the window, he is walking across the street. The phone rings. She jumps. She picks it up, he says, go into the bedroom. She is crying. There are lit candles around the TV, the neighbor comes on the TV, tells her to stop being afraid. She goes to the door, ￼ and he is there. She touches his lips, she pulls him into her apartment, the door shuts of its own accord. They look at each other, she kisses his cheek, then his other one. Shouldn’t they have had a conversation of any sort by now? The mindless romantic equivalent of the zipless fuck. She points to her lips. The cat is watching. The neighbor has his binoculars out. Julien is filming them, it is on the TV. The neighbor says hey.
Carrie Hunter received her MFA/MA in the infamous Poetics program at New College of California, edits the small chapbook press, ypolita press, and is a member of the Black Radish Books publishing collective. Recent poems appear in Nap, Metazen, and the video journal Jupiter 88. Chapbooks include Vorticells (Cygist Press), A Musics (Arrow as Aarow), Angel, Unincorporated (Lew Gallery editions), and four chapbooks with the Dusi/e-chap Kollektiv. Her book The Incompossible came out in 2011 with Black Radish Books.