Sunday, March 27, 2016
The Sunday Poet: Carla Schwartz
Carla Schwartz is a poet, filmmaker, photographer, and lyricist. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Fulcrum, Common Ground Review, Cactus Heart, First-Literary Journal East, Switched-on Gutenberg, Wordgathering, Naugatuck River Review, Stone Highway Review, Boston Poetry Magazine, Literary Juice, Solstice Magazine, Ibbetson Street Magazine, Emerge Literary Journal, Enizagam, Equinox, and 05401, among others. Her book, Mother, One More Thing is available through WordTech and Turning Point Books (2014). Her poem, In Defense of Peaches, was a Massachusetts Poetry Foundation Poem of the Moment. Her poem, Late for Dinner, was a semi-finalist for the Naugatuck River Review Narrative Poetry Contest. Her video work incorporates poetry, documentary, and instructional videos. Her youtube videos have had hundreds of thousands of views. She has performed and read her work in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Carla is also a professional writer with a doctoral degree from Princeton University. Learn more at her website at carlapoet.com.
The theatre was near the Grand Place,
convenient for moules et frites
and a short walk to the train, afterward.
This cinema revealed its beauty on entering —
balconies, red carpet,
moldings on the ceiling.
Ushers and restroom attendants expected tips.
My first day in Brussels,
I held my bags tight.
I took my place in the middle of the middle,
an empty row, where I could spread my bags
on the seat to my right.
Comment Faire l’Amour avec un Negre sans se Fatiguer,
a Canadian film, sparsely attended —
the unemployed, the retired, and me, a tourist.
I focused on the tongue I was not native to,
and the Montreal neighborhoods I knew —
Carré St. Louis, Rue St. Denis,
when, of all the open seats,
a man selected the one next to my stuff.
I bristled and swung them over to my left.
Another man moved in then,
on that side, and I was sandwiched,
my bags between my legs,
while Man Number 1 moved to the seat next to mine,
and Number 2 closed in on my left.
I stayed put, rather than get up and move.
When my row mates began to pant and rub,
and I tensed my grip on my camera, my purse,
my neck craned like a stargazer.
Before intermission, the men left.
I remained fixed until the end,
when I walked away from my small death.