Think Tank (Solid Objects) | 2015
"It’s still dark / Then, a door," begins Julie Carr's beautiful Think Tank. We are invited to step through it, into a space both interstitial and marked, always, with the parts that don't adhere: "streaks of water between panes of glass," "shores . . . [like] garnets, as vital as they are coarse," a "[p]inching and elliptical grammar . . . slightly tipped at the horizon." This is where pleasure lies—in its tilted reality and luminous curiosity that resembles, so much, childhood imaginaries of loss, landscape and becoming. In connecting to these other qualities of consciousness, Carr opens apertures and seams of different kinds, in a complex, delicate, durational writing that could be both things: the mouth that releases its load of blood when it opens to speak, or something else—a way to get to the next part of life. "At the doorway: endlessness," Carr writes. And we follow her gaze until it breaks: "glinting and wet."
"This is a volume of extraordinary discipline, cerebral yet appealing, loose and playful... Some poetry books are meant to be read slowly and a second time; this is one of them."
Johnny Payne for Cleaver Magazine
A meeting of one poet’s many minds and/or a poem-film of a brain as both a bottle and its contents, its own double feature. See also Dickinson’s “If wrecked upon the Shoal of Thought” or this, from Stanley Cavell’s The World Viewed: “To know how far reality is open to our dreams would be to know how far reality is confined by our dreams of it.” Not a “project,” but rather a series of projections that throws great light on a life, Think Tank is real-to-reel-and-back-again writing, an actual reverie, a thing of thought and song.
Carr’s writing has always been concerned with questions, such as those about violence and terrorism in 100 Notes on Violence (Ahsahta Press, 2009). In Think Tank, the interrogation abides a structure which intimates that there is less at stake, less urgency. But though this book feels softer, its scope, as its epigraph suggests, is wide to the point of an unknown horizon, and in this endlessness, Carr asks: “Who’s breathing whom here?” (51).
Michaela Mullin for Nomadic Press