E·ratio Issue 10


Four Poems



by Carol McCarthy






The American Heritage Dictionary



defines dizzy

            (below a daguerreotype

                          of Dorothea Dix),


“bewildered,” “confused,”

            suggesting women must be

                          silly or scatterbrained. 


DJ is an abbreviation

            for “ditzy Jane”

                          a boy once said about a girl

                                   who questioned fate.  (or faith?)


One entry can define



on the same page as divorce and divider,

implying some basic difference. 


                                   Dissent is not for those

                          whose time is better spent

            traversing from Djakarta

to Jakarta


simply because. 






To Zebra and Mead



The inutility of a marionette, at best

a dance through a visceral page. 


Sanskrit and little pasties?

Beauty as you believe


in sophistry, an enigma. 

Her right hand a state


lines sonorous and brisk. 

A light dims the affection of something


not yet revealed by its adulation. 

Open your ears and you can see


some beat she cannot sing. 

Gaze closer and you can hear


her calloused hand knit

the utterance of another tongue. 







Still Life With Postman, Ennui



Scents left by you on my dresser

by way of a torn envelope. 

Sable and sage hanging

                       from my ceiling fan in the den. 


            I once met a lion in Breaux Bridge,

Louisiana.  (I brushed his coat

and he sang me a lullaby)


Lull is only time standing still, wishes

granted on a Tuesday morning

hung over on two bottles of red wine.


            (the brown lemur is nocturnal for survival)


The mice are missing from glue traps

(I am forced to relinquish control)


            When I open my mouth

bees swarm out











(OED.)  Time between the flash and the thunder.

(n.)  The act of coming together. 

(math.)  Approaching a limit. 

(Phys.)  Eyes inward to focus. 

(Plato.)  “The inmost eye.” 

(biolog.)  Adaptive evolution. 

(tech.)  The Motorola C-340 phone is also a camera,        recorder, and mp3 player. 

(entomol.)  The wings of wasps. 

(pseud.)  Marriage X. 

(ant.)  Run like hell! 

(syn.)  Standing at the edge. 

(naut.)  Go in head first. 

(onomat.)  Crash! 

(20th C.)  Globalism. 

(NIV)  Eph 5:21 Submit to one another out of
for Christ. 

(interj.)  Watch out! 

(euphem.)  Let’s hold hands 

(grammatology)  “The end of linearity is the end.” 

(fem.)  I’ll love you forever. 

(masc.)  I’m not ready for commitment. 

(derog.)  Sometimes divergence is a good thing. 

(Confed.)  Y’all ain’t like us. 

(DHS)  An army of one. 

(dimin.)  Ubiquitous buzzword. 







copyright © 2008 Carol McCarthy


Carol McCarthy lives in New Orleans where she is a poetry candidate in the MFA program at The University of New Orleans.  She has poems published or forthcoming in Wicked Alice, Ellipsis and in Natural Bridge, among others. 



E · Poetry Journal