Nicole Caruso Garcia

Blues Triolet

Such pretty grit is in the ashes.
What flecks could resurrect despair?
Like track-tossed bottles sunlight smashes,
Such pretty grit is in the ashes.
Through the train car window, flashes
Of graffiti flame like prayer.
Such pretty grit is in the ashes.
What flecks could resurrect despair?

To the Undertaker

Undertaker, I have sought you;
Hover close above.
My overtaker, faith-shaker
Was the man I loved.

Sew my useless jaw together;
Drain my blood's scant volume.
He moved as though my lips were stitched
By all the days I'd loved him.

Your devotion lasts two hours.
Tend and wash my body.
In merely minutes he had made
Unholy Holy Friday.

Fill me with your reeking fluid,
Harsh, but not unkind.
Preserve my body with your proof;
His petrified my mind.

Pack my cavities with gauze;
Make pretty perjury.
I thought I was a woman, loved;
I am an effigy.

Paint my face so lifelike they will
Marvel at my charms.
Who's that makeup for? he asked.
Gawkers, now. And worms.

Oh, gentleman of more respect,
Lay coins upon my eyes.
He made me lesser than a whore,
Staked claim between my thighs.

I was his would-be wife, and still you
Dress me for the church.
A gown of silken muslin for
A carcass with no worth.

Three Landays

Are you pacified? Where is your wrath
that our daughters are born with rape whistles in their mouths?

* * *

Mother, my poems may upset you,
though I do my best to shape neat squares from exit wounds.

* * *

Some words I seek—not for narrative—
but as one claims a body, flesh over which to grieve.


Nicole Caruso Garcia's poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as The Raintown Review, 823 on High, Antiphon, The HyperTexts, Willow Review, The Sow's Ear Poetry Review, Soundings East, The Ledge, and others, as well as in the anthology Mother is a Verb. She received the Spring 2010 Willow Review Award. She earned her B.A. in English from Fairfield University, and after seven years in corporate industry, she left to earn her M.S. in Education from The University of Bridgeport. She makes her home in Connecticut, where she teaches Poetry and Creative Writing at Trumbull High School.


Deborah Arnold
Sylvia Ashby
Meredith Bergmann
Carol Dorf
Melanie Figg
Sophia Galifianakis
Nicole Caruso Garcia
Jennifer Glancy
Dolores Hayden
Kjerstin Kauffman
Katrina Kostro
Michele Leavitt
Susan McLean
Ann Michael
Sally Nacker
Stella Nickerson
Samantha Pious
Rita Rousseau
Renée M. Schell
Leslie Schultz
Katherine Smith
Rebecca Starks
Myrna Stone
Chelsea Woodard (Featured Poet)
Marly Youmans


Jenna Le, Anne-Marie Thompson, and Chelsea Woodard join editor Kim Bridgford at the tenth-anniversary Mezzo Cammin panel at the Poetry by the Sea conference.

Sophia Galifianakis was the recipient of the Mezzo Cammin scholarship.

Corpus VI was formed in 2003, when six women figurative painters, who studied together at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, united to curate, exhibit and present our work to the public on our own terms, and launch our artistic careers. The name was chosen because it reflected our shared commitment to figurative representation. Clarity Haynes, Elena Peteva, and Suzanne Schireson were three of the founding members of the group, which organized an inaugural, self-titled show at Philadelphia's Highwire Gallery in the spring of 2005. The exhibition essay was written by Jeffrey Carr, Dean of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The exhibition was very well-attended and reviewed in several art publications.

The experience of working together to successfully realize this exhibition, as well as the continuous dialogue and exchange of ideas on contemporary figuration, has proven to be greatly valuable to us. Ten years after graduating from PAFA, as our careers have taken us to different locations across the United States, three of the original members, Clarity Haynes, Suzanne Schireson, and Elena Peteva, have come together to reinvent the collective by inviting one artist each to be part of this exhibition that will begin at the New Bedford Art Museum in fall 2015 and travel to other institutions.

Holly Trostle Brigham, Stacy Latt Savage and Laurie Kaplowitz are professional figurative artists, whose strong artistic visions enrich the collective's range and explorations of contemporary representation. We are excited at the prospect of seeing our work all together in new configurations, creating new dialogues. Holly Brigham creates imaginative, narrative watercolors, which tell a feminist story, inserting her artistic persona into art historical narratives and mythologies. Laurie Kaplowitz uses textured paint to create personages that hint at the soul within, alluding to rituals of marking, scarring and adorning the body as an integral part of our human identity and presentation. Stacy Latt Savage combines figurative elements with fabricated structures and shapes to create objects that capture what it looks like to feel human and the complexities of our human condition. Clarity Haynes casts new light on ideas of beauty, femininity and embodiment through her realistic painted portraits of the female torso. Elena Peteva creates allegorical representations of our individual and social states through the human figure and subtle, charged, incomplete signs that invite the viewer's attempt for interpretation. Suzanne Schireson is influenced by her great-grandfather's autobiography as an early plastic surgeon and her paintings examine contradictions surrounding the birth of cosmetic surgery, such as the power to heal and the fostering of insecurity.
32 Poems
The Academy of American Poets
The Atlantic
The Christian Science Monitor
The Cortland Review
Favorite Poem Project
The Frost Place
The Iowa Review
Light Quarterly
Modern American Poetry
The Poem Tree
Poetry Daily
Poetry Society of America
Poets House
Raintown Review
String Poet
Valparaiso Poetry Review
Verse Daily
Women's Poetry Listserv
The Yale Review

Bread Loaf
Poetry by the Sea


Barefoot Muse Press
David Robert Books
David R. Godine Press
Graywolf Press
Headmistress Press
The Johns Hopkins University Press
Louisiana State University Press
Northwestern Univ Press
Ohio Univ Press
Persea Books
Red Hen Press
Texas Tech Univ Press
Tupelo Press
Univ of Akron Press
Univ of Arkansas Press
Univ of Illinois Press
Univ of Iowa Press
Waywiser Press
White Violet Press

City Lights
Grolier Poetry Bookshop
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Prairie Lights
Tattered Cover Bookstore

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