Eratio Issue 17




Variations on a Pile of Bricks


by Carolyn Guinzio







Winged and open mouths of char

marks on broken bricks. 



                  That all of our ideas

                  are rooted in the wild.







Mortar to break it down to powder,

a particle becoming a part. 



                  That the tree, in the fire,

                  keeps saying tree.







A black oak’s hand-

shaped shadow on a roof.



         That the gone left the living

         papers in the hollow of a wall.







A chair near a wall

at the height of a fire.



         That the dead fight for

         their current, their form.







We felt its heat

a half-mile away. 



                  That the things we freeze go on

                  without us as we are going on.







A name scratched

into brick with a rock.



                           That the house, in the fire,

                           keeps saying house.







The glowing chair falling

at the base of a wall.



         That bricks and bones

         are left alone.







Phantom windows

face red trees.



         That chimneys stand

         in the middle of ghost houses.







Even dust

feeds something.



That madman in the back of the room

has raised his hand to speak.







It is so hard to build

a sentence.


I have seen a blue

flame veining underground.


I have rubbed my hands together

in its warmth.


The ground is not cold.

The underground is heated.



         That it’s only

a matter of time.










Carolyn Guinzio is the author of Spoke & Dark (Red Hen, 2012), winner of the To The Lighthouse/A Room of Her Own Poetry Prize, Quarry (Parlor, 2008), West Pullman (Bordighera, 2005), and the chapbooks a liss (Dancing Girl Press, 2012), and Untitled Wave (Cannibal, 2010).  She is the poetry editor of YEW: A Journal of Innovative Writing & Images by Woman.  Her film, The History of Stars & Ghosts, was recently selected for the Poetry International Cinépoetry feature.  Carolyn Guinzio is online at



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