Sunday, October 11, 2009

"Carved in Stone" by Gayle Reed Carroll

Carved in Stone

Something about the coldness in the letters of a name
carved in granite: cold gray sheen
something in the way it weighs down soil
a few hours loosened, tamped back down
something in the letters of a name
cold, plain-spoken, straight, something
in the letters, his name her name
printed in stone, like a tablet / like a lid
holding down the loosened soil
the tamped-down soil
rained-on snowed-on blown-on soil
lidded down, back cover of a book you loved
finished now, returned to its place
beside the ones whose words whose claims
had stirred the blood awhile
their own covers sloughing away
decade by year by day by hour
How many names have you read like this
the spelled-out numbered names the frame of dates
something about this, the name you knew
name you know, carved in stone,
the way it weighs their days,
tamps their silence down.

Gayle Reed Carroll has taught Art, primarily in the Clairton, Pennsylvania public schools, and calligraphy at Carnegie Mellon University and in the Mt. Lebanon School District’s Adult Education program. She earned an AB in Art at Hood College and an MFA in Graphic Design at CMU. She began writing poetry in the early nineties and has studied with poets including Stephen Dunn, Kenneth Rosen, Jan Beatty, Patricia Dobler, Lynn Emanuel, and Heather McHugh. Wendell Berry selected her poem, "Dementia," as first prize winner in the Thomas Merton Institute's Poetry of the Sacred Award in 2009. Other poems have appeared in several small magazines and anthologies, including Poet Lore, The Comstock Review, City Paper, Black River Review, and Voices from the Attic. Carroll is a resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1 comment:

Jim K. said...

Sort of walks between a Joycean
detailed intensity and a stronger
sense of willing a resolution.
Describing a process inside
with the outside symbols, that
difficult wrestling. The reading
was moving, too.