Guest Poet Carrie Hunter

The Fullness of an Empty Room

There is a blue feather that floats 
against the background of a pale 
yellow wall.  It is still 
but only at the cost 
of daydreams, wandering thoughts 
and all possible attachments 
to birds.  It starts to spin 
like a woman dancing slowly 
alone, unwatched, not 
too fast, but, after a while 
a bit faster.  As if it is entering 

a contemplative ecstasy that grows 
out of the stillness within its controlled 
spinning. It does not go too far but 
far enough to see over the trees 
that have grown up out of the dirt 
floor in the time concentrated 
then forgotten and so now 
quite expansive.  The yellow walls 

dim then go brighter.  To 
whom?  The feather?  The space 
between the walls?  Not to me. 
I wasn't there.  I am not there.

In this moment of wondering how I know any of this, the insistent strength of my thoughts overpowers the visual song.  It has been replaced.  I try to look again, but it is gone.  Has the absence of my looking transplanted it, caused it to evaporate?  Perhaps somewhere there is a particular blue feather using the wind.  Perhaps somewhere there are some wrongly placed, or simply just newly placed, yellow walls. Perhaps not.

May, 1998

Carrie Hunter 's Questions:

There seems to be something that is very necessary missing from this, like oxygen, but I don't know what it is exactly.  I think it might be something to do with the lack of the human element, is it too removed?  And if so any suggestions on how to add that without losing the meaning? Or since it is so based on the yearning for the inanimate, is that just not possible?  Also, does the prose section work, or is that just confusing?

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The Albany Poetry Workshop