Two Poems by Wendy Taylor Carlisle


I distrust angels, generally.

I’m more likely to believe in Lazarus who was called by the Hebrews, Eleazar, and rose from his deathbed like an uncurled spring leaf. Or, Jesus, whose story resembles that of Lazarus, the cave tomb, the rising. It’s a comforting parallelism.

What is parallel to an angel? Not a devil, although this was my first thought. Parallel to an angel, in western fable, is a bad girl.

You know that’s true.

In every movie, the angel girl is blonde, the wicked girl brunette, the spitfire, a redhead. There’s a triple parallelism, or if you prefer, a trifecta of wrongness.

Meanwhile, those Angels, hang around in bars to cock block you at closing time, guard the lipsticks at Wal-Mart, the Jerky at Dollar General. In general, they are not in favor of your good time.

This goes on and on as we appreciate the fair, doubt the sable and want to fuck the scarlet. Our feelings in this are unconscious, deep. Dark as that dark girl we will continue to distrust when it’s’ really the blond we should hate.


Story Fatigue

What was Noah looking for in the endless scroll of waves
which he began checking each morning before he got up
from his pallet? “I’m trying to find the zeitgeist of the flood,”
he said. He wanted the Ark to alight just right, not on the least
significant, dumbest bit of high ground, but on a good story.
Noah knew he wasn’t the only guy tapped to build a boat.
King Ziusudra of Sumer built one and rescued animals,
centuries before, and Noah knew of a passel of others,
which made him the relative newcomer.
“It wasn’t the easiest, I’ll say that,” Noah told folks later.
“Working out a novel Ark narrative took some figuring.”
Whenever possible, he made an effort to resist
the pull of the older vortex. “I consider story fatigue,”
Noah revealed. “Because I’ve learned audiences, including myself,
just get tired because it feels like nothing has changed; nothing has moved.”
So, he sent off a raven and when nothing happened, a dove.


Quotes from “The Calm in the Storm,” Washington Post Magazine



Wendy Taylor Carlisle was born in Manhattan, raised in Bermuda, Connecticut and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and lives now in the Arkansas Ozarks in a house she built in 1980. She has an MA from The University of Arkansas and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is the author of The Mercy of Traffic (Unlikely Books, 2019), Discount Fireworks (Jacaranda Press, 2008) and Reading Berryman to the Dog (Jacaranda Press, 2000.) Chapbooks include They Went to the Beach to Play (Locofo Chaps, 2016), Chap Book (Platypus Press, 2016), Persephone on the Metro (MadHat press, 2014), The Storage of Angels (Slow Water Press, 2008), and After Happily Ever After (Two River Chapbooks, 2003.) Her work appears in multiple anthologies.





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