Author: Louise Mathias

Louise Mathias is the author of Lark Apprentice, winner of the New Issues Poetry Prize, and the chapbook Above All Else, the Trembling Resembles a Forest, which was selected by Martha Ronk as winner of the Burnside Review Chapbook Contest. These poems are from her forthcoming second collection, The Traps, which will be published by Four Way Books in early 2013. With David Dodd Lee, she is the proprietor of Elsewhere Editions, a letterpress studio publishing broadsides and chapbooks on an erratic basis from a dusty little outpost in the Mojave desert.

Silt & Elk River Road & Admonishment & The Cartesian Other & Still


Yes, it was a kind of terror. As if fingering
the spine of a book, then finding
every page is gone. In this admission,
children can go missing,

houses burn. No one comes.

The other version is this: the road goes on forever:
lined in Ocotillo, pure hot tarmac
throughout the valley,
along the skeleton coast—

Elk River Road

                                         (Humboldt County, California)

Like the last of the damned, a handful,
slender bay—

It’s true I had wondered: marigolds growing
all over

this locked door.
Excited (admit it)

by the voile of the drapes.

all, farmer-ly.

The role of the marigolds, the voile.


To be impossible, but full

of endless mouth. Same goes
for hissing starlight in the daytime.
You hold

the slippery kitten ‘til it says
let me eat

somebody else’s music now.

The Cartesian Other

In the narrowest spaces, she doth unravel, as if
a forest fire.

In its simplest form, starving: lack of food

but also (archaic)
to bludgeon with cold.

But the lake like a Molotov cocktail…

The dominant color always flame.


Good to live
where the stars still work. A little
cirrus/nimbus? floating by—

Confess: you wanted the world (and you)

to just shut up.
But what is there to say? He posed
me like a dead girl and I liked it