Dancing with Broido, Gladys Justin Carr

Red Canyon Petroglyph




You cannot will wild love
It doesn’t come around
that often

You cannot stash fresh sweetmeats
before the storm

If you try to hoard

they will jail you for wretched

I am the spawn of wizards
and weepers
sailing the sabled lagoon

I am the thief of rapture
a criminal
a charlatan

In this night of miracles
I am the hunger song
the exquisite aria
in the prisons
of posterity

I am the one

even before
I was born

to the ravening love
that cannot be willed


[1] Inspired by the poem “Pamphlet on Ravening,” by Lucie Brock-Broido, brilliant poet and teacher, who died at 61.

Gladys Justin Carr


Review by Jared Pearce

I like that I really have no idea what the heck is happening in the second half of this poem—a point, I think, that is, really, the point.  The first half is clear enough, and I like it.  But I like more that the second half whirls me into its non-reason that is totally reasonable in the poem.  I love how the energy wills me into that idea.  There’s no map, no fact, just the movement, and it’s wonderful.


Review by Ettore Fobo

In “Dancing with Broido,” we read a sort of proud poetic manifesto, as the poet is an “awakened” one who, for his gift of wonder to the world, for his divinatory excesses, risks imprisonment and recognizes himselves as a “criminal”, “charlatan”, trickster, but also, therefore, of the “spawn of wizards.” This contradiction speaks more about the world itself and its original and depraved alienation that leaves no escape for those, like the artist, who do not easily conform to this collective madness. The overall tone reminded me of the poet Alicia Ostriker, whose clear exploration of illness and measured poetic fervor Gladys Justin Carr maintains.


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