She at Voices Fails a Little

C. Violet Eaton

O but you must try the wine, mustFeel please my crêpe edge, crimped& finger this foulard of silk twill,This fox stole, decrepit, that I keepBeneath my skirtses (which I lift.It don't bother me in my black hat,Mouth flapping : I wanted to freakThem anyway, point out the trickWorld in all its muggy smear & arc.Lay me in the violincase laughing :Ha ha, tu ne dis pas tout, il y a hoc,A hic, a hiccup, a body : there issomething there—prior—speaks upAgainst it, rises not in it. SomedaySure I'll burn what I owe like tracingA line cross a throat. But someone'sDark moaning moodly, a musicOf spiritual poverty :A dollar cacophany, a caterwaul,Here & there a yip.

Feature Date


Selected By

Share This Poem

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Print This Poem

Share on print

C. Violet Eaton is a poet living in Arkansas. His first full- length collection, Some Habits, was the winner of the 2013 Omnidawn Open Poetry Prize, selected by Forrest Gander. Quartet is his second book.

"C. Violet Eaton’s second book, Quartet, is you. Let’s say it is the mechanism of you. I say this fully aware that a nest of confusion could ensue but that, of course, is the point. What Eaton performs so well in these pages is a direct dealing with the inevitability of the artifacts which, much to our chagrin, define us. These include all the material that makes our lives seem important and things like honesty, intention, and, that most ephemeral of all armors, story. To say that Eaton lands this language down the alley, while verifiably true, blunts its urgency. So let’s try this: Eaton’s language has all the magnetism of the choked inhale of a colicky infant or the slow suck of tires on wet asphalt as one awakens in a ditch. It is dangerous and invigorating."
—Lance Phillips

"Quartet’s rowdy odes and viscid fictions come “crawling out the coffin to perform” a crossroads cabaret—of rack and wit, vision and vinegar. They suggest there might be nothing as experimental as the folk tradition. There’s the barbershop quartet, the can-can dancers, the contortionist, the drugged bear on a bicycle, a Blakean polyglot scribbling riddles in the county ledger, and even 'the last man / On Earth singing the first / Song ever written.' Eaton’s poems offer 'rural harmonics' that crimp prophecy to pop songs, ecological desperation to the grace of murky accounting. Their heft is true, as though each line is a lodestone drawing the spirit closer so we can see the 'church, eventual' that hovers above this book’s surgically resplendent 'wire of song.'"
—Zach Savich

Poetry Daily Depends on You

With your support, we make reading the best contemporary poetry a treasured daily experience. Consider a contribution today.