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Bolinas

From: The Missouri Review
Volume 37, Number 1, 2014
p. 93 | 10.1353/mis.2014.0025

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Memory treats us unfairly at first,
revealing only the clouds and rust,
the feeling of welding dust blowing
against our lips. Only later do we see
the invisible robin she carried inside
her chest, the sense of its wet weight
stranded in her hands, the silence
and subtle change of heart that filled
the room. Only later do we see how
the bitterness grew in the stomach,
filtered its way to the shoulders and
ribs, the lower extremities, crown
of the head. You feel it pushing
its way to the roof cracks, searching
the windows and slats in the blinds,
the down-hanging pink strands of old
insulation. Only later, two or three
years now, walking alone on the fog-
covered beach in Bolinas, smoking
alone at the back of the garage,
do you see that the tear in her eye
that one night, watching her come
in the moonlit boat, was not for your
beauty, not for a shared sense of wind
on the body, but for some other man
she had failed to name. A man she
had loved for his strangeness and anarchy,
free methamphetamine, shaky tattoos.
A man she would never have stayed with
or married, but who she loved beyond
reason, and lost track of long ago.

Kai Carlson-Wee  

“My poetry has always been about stories, about characters and voices and the landscapes they exist in. I write about beet fields in Northern Minnesota. I write about family and childhood friends, people I’ve met riding freight trains across the country. I try to create an inhabited world beyond what you find in the words. I like to imagine my poems as excerpts from a journal or travelogue rather than stand-alone pieces of art. In Leaves of Grass, Whitman wrote, ‘Whoever touches this, touches a man,’ and I suppose I am drawn to a similar mode. All my poems are connected. The thoughts bleed forward and backward at once. They are extensions of each other, needled together by places and people and themes. One of those themes, perhaps the most prevalent in these poems, is an elegy to a failed American dream. The speaker is asking himself what remains once the romance has died, the land has been dredged, the myths have already been told.”

Kai Carlson-Wee has rollerbladed professionally, surfed north of the Arctic Circle and traveled across the country by freight train. His work has appeared in Linebreak, Best New Poets, Forklift Ohio and the Missouri Review. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow, he lives in San Francisco, California, where he is a Jones Lecturer in poetry at Stanford University.

Copyright © 2014 The Curators of the University of Missouri
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Kai Carlson-Wee. "Holes in the Mountain, and: Sunshine Liquidators, and: Jesse James Days, and: Bolinas, and: The Boy’s Head." The Missouri Review 37.1 (2014): 87-94. Project MUSE. Web. 22 Jul. 2014. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Carlson-Wee, K.(2014). Holes in the Mountain, and: Sunshine Liquidators, and: Jesse James Days, and: Bolinas, and: The Boy’s Head. The Missouri Review 37(1), 87-94. University of Missouri. Retrieved July 22, 2014, from Project MUSE database.
Kai Carlson-Wee. "Holes in the Mountain, and: Sunshine Liquidators, and: Jesse James Days, and: Bolinas, and: The Boy’s Head." The Missouri Review 37, no. 1 (2014): 87-94. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed July 22, 2014).
TY - JOUR
T1 - Holes in the Mountain, and: Sunshine Liquidators, and: Jesse James Days, and: Bolinas, and: The Boy’s Head
A1 - Carlson-Wee, Kai
JF - The Missouri Review
VL - 37
IS - 1
SP - 87
EP - 94
PY - 2014
PB - University of Missouri
SN - 1548-9930
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/missouri_review/v037/37.1.carlson-wee.html
N1 - Volume 37, Number 1, 2014
ER -

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