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Anne M Carson – A poem about an apple

Carson profile LEPW Feb 2021

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing February 2021.

Anne M Carson’s poetry has been published internationally, and widely in Australia. Recent publications include Massaging Himmler: A Poetic Biography of Dr Felix Kersten (Hybrid, 2019), and Two Green Parrots (Ginnindera Press, 2019). She has initiated a number of poetry-led social justice projects. She is currently a PhD candidate at RMIT where her project includes poetic biographies of two creative women – Anna Magdalena Bach, a ‘flawless’ soprano (according to her husband, Johann Sebastian Bach) and George Sand, prolific French novelist.

A poem about an apple

A dark underground corner. His car door and mine
awkwardly proximate. I pause, let him proceed.

Cautious carpark twostep. He smiles, lopes off
crunching a red apple – loose dangle of limbs,

easy stride. I step into the space he has just left.
Only a few seconds of his presence douse it

in scent profile. His apple-laden breath is the air
my mouth opens to. Unexpected delight.       Usually

this tang only on loved ones close enough to kiss.
I don’t register face – breath delectable. How did

apple’s innocence get sullied? We need to know more
about good and evil, not less. Breath blesses me.

Jelly blubber

A hollow in the shallows
where kids have dug

a mass grave     A hundred
or more squashed together

in a gelatinous huddle
like a piece of cut fruit

a giant colourless
pomegranate bursting

with transparent seeds
More translucent than

sago granules brimming
a bowl     Amber without

the tea stain    Some days
the beach is scattered

with masses of rounded
ice cubes     what the bar

tender has thrown out
after an all-night party

Arriving mysteriously
in swarms     they float

silently at the mercy
of invisible forces til

they beach and bake
in the sun and air

No-one knows what
sets off their migration

Suddenly they appear
in front of you when

you’re swimming
taking on the colour of

sand or water      you
feel soft blunt bumps

on your limbs    Just the
hint of a shape     ghostly

underwater presences
meaning you no harm

As you walk the tideline
they squelch underfoot
squeeze deliciously between
toes like the cool ooze

of mud      Dried they shrink
to a child’s handful of

crinkled cellophane
a shrunk curl of cling

wrap      In a few days
they disappear entirely

until the invisible
mechanism – moon? tide?

sets them going again
A new batch bobs in

Egg cases from the
conical sand snail

© Anne M Carson