Jane L. Carman
Jane L. Carman is the founder of the Festival of Language, a reading eXperiment, Lit Fest Press, and codirector of the Publications Unit at Illinois State University where she received her PhD and is a former Sutherland Fellow. She prefers writing that takes in genreless breaths and lives by rules that continuously morph into the unfamiliar. Her work can be found in Devil’s Lake, Palooka, Santa Clara Review, Mixed Fruit, JAC, eilmae, Pequin, 580-Split, American Book Review, Dirty : Dirty (Jaded Ibis Productions, 2013), among others. Her book Tangled in Motion is forthcoming from Journal of Experimental Fiction/JEF Books.
Festival of Language events: 2009 Chicago AWP; 2010 Denver AWP; 2011 DC AWP; 2012 Chicago AWP; 2013 Boston AWP; 2013 Lansing SSML; 2013 Milwaukee M/MLA; 2014 Seattle AWP; 2014 Fall Fest at Illinois State University; 2015 Minneapolis AWP
A reading eXperiment events: 2013 Boston AWP; 2013 Lansing SSML; 2013 Milwaukee M/MLA; 2014 Seattle AWP; 2015 Minneapolis AWP;
(From the book Tangled in Motion, forthcoming from Journal of Experimental Fiction/JEF Books)
X0. C on a fencepost above a black and blue eggshell mosaic over dust and clover. A metallic light baby glowing over and over against sun.
X1. C in white ( ), a plastic basket from Uncle Ed’s Emporium and Mite Market,
one-buck basket full of baby and flesh, full of stories and secrets in waiting, in need.
X2. C a wad of flesh flashing through plastic weave, a crow resting on her shoulder, two kaleidoscope geese, standing on a mosaic, honking, flapping, tossing.
X3. C surrounded by that color: basket, down, cloud, seeds, petals, skin, puff, and
X4. C sings, notes misinterpreted. C sings, Take me home. And, Country roads. And, Sweet home. And, Where O where can this baby be.
X5. C creating rules out of colors and symbols and sounds or statuses that wrap around her ear. Drums.
X6. C growing in a basket, her flash poking through the weave, skin tanning in square inches and acres and miles and millimeters of baby, geese at dawn, honking, Wake up, C.
Honking, Ditch the plastic. Honking, Come out and play. Honking, Are you hungry. Honking, Eat crow.
Honking, Please, C. Please don’t tease us.
Geese flapping at noon. Flapping, Hot. Flapping, How does this feel? Do ya like it? Do ya? Flapping, Come down and play. Flapping, You’re good, C. You’re a good, good girl. Flapping, Are you hot? Flapping, Come down and play in the wings, play in the breeze. C, Are you hot? C, Throw that crow out. Come on, C. Please, C.
Geese tossing down at dusk, C, are you chillin? Tossing smack, Boo. Don’t cry, baby C. Tossing, Catch this. Cover up. Tossing what falls back in their faces. C, Are you cold? Pluck that crow. Don’t be afraid of the dark. Tossing, We can’t see you. You’re fading. C, Where are you? C, What’s with the crow?
X7. There’s a baby in a basket on a fence post down a country road, a crow on her head, geese beneath her post. She’s flashing through the weave and nobody knows. Nobody cares. Nobody understands. The baby cries and sings.
Tractors roll on by on rocks. Trucks kick dirt into her basket. Cars buzz past, passengers catcalling, geese ring. The crow releases a mess on the baby’s head and caws.
I’m an orphan, cries the babe. I’m no lovechild. No love. No child. Rescue me, sugar. Rescue me, daddy. Rescue me.
X8. A goose flaps, Mine. A goose flaps, Mine. A baby sings, Mine. Geese lock down on the necks of each other and begin to smack wings. Turbulence lifts a basket full of fleshy body.
Honk and slap and the breaking of feathers and wings or necks. The baby floats before falling into the theory of the road. Two geese lie. Flat. Circle a post. Eyes blink. Shut or wide. A baby basket in the gravel. The baby sings, Where O where can this baby be. And, A change is gonna come.
X9. Baby C looking for Hot Momma or Sweet Daddy, crawls down the road, gravel harassing. Her knee cracks. A crow riding on her back, baby C sings. Nobody knows. The crow caws. Sun blinks shut with baby sleeping amongst tiger lilies busy closing their wide yawns. Dawn rises. Tigers wake and open wide. C tickles their stamens.
A Motorcycle Momma trips by, scoops up the scored baby. They ride, crow flying high. Baby, drawing metaphors out of Motorcycle Momma’s mouth, resting against her leather, being slapped by fringe, suffers loss and lost and love she does not understand. Baby feels the beat of the road, a feral incantation. C wiggles out of Motorcycle Momma’s arms, hits the ground balling, slides into a
culvert, crow falling from sky.
X10. A basketless baby panting amongst cattails and bullfrogs and a spanking new patch of lilies, thinking about how she ditched Motorcycle Momma, struggling to remember what she left. Behind.
X11. Crow caws, Mine. Baby sings, Mine and Why O why can this baby be. Crow blowing, makes a mess on scored baby’s back. Cattails beat against windwaves. Lilies yawn wide, stamen flashing against tempos. Bullfrogs compose love songs on high, casting shadows beneath the scene.
X12. Crow taunts, dirty baby. Nasty girl. Baby sings, What O what can this baby be? Crow fades into sky. A black circle closing in on itself. Empty basket. Lost.
Baby sits on roadside bordered/bothered by wagging, singing, yawning.