Carlie Blume


Mollusks shed shells like
a legacy
like humans shed memory
or structure,
makes me consider what we
tangible and
Time away from home affords
such thoughts,
each one rich,
calorie dense nestled
in pleated paper

But seriously.
We are we no more than
the frill and nacre
of an oyster,
corroded scrap of
iron flaked off
a sunken hulk?
I’ve come to realize how nautical imagery
comforts me,
I lick the salt from it
attempt to nourish

You’ve been gone three months now
and I still talk to the air
(like they do in the movies
when someone died)
comb the beach
like my hair
dodging tangles
that greet me
every time.

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when did we become the architects
of our own crumbling cathedrals?

i wonder this as I scroll            
risk carpal tunnel through cerulean glow
thick chicken grease on my skin,

trying to imagine what it was like for my parents’
generation. how the Beatles told them about

all                the lonely people but
                   would Eleanor Rigby still live in a dream
                   if life were online?

                   would she still keep her face in
a jar
                   by the door
                   if she knew it could be cropped and filtered?
                   not if she knew she could be
                   through lavender mist that scours
                   of her nose,
          pushes lips forward and out to say–

i was here.              
So don’t fuck with me.

she might winnow around icons
ignore the urge to upgrade
despite knowing there is an
error            in explorer

she gathers
alone           together
non-verbal             signal stifled

until night plummets where
she lies awake and thinks of all the dirty
angry things
hidden in her brain like

                   buried in the sand.


Watch me as I take all the old Jonathan Taylor Thomas posters I had as a kid and make a hat. Watch me wear it for an entire day as I eat flaky croissants, jamming corners of golden pastry into the cavern of my jaw. letting the flour and butter hug my insides while I think of you.

Watch me rent a pistachio green cruiser as I will ride along the seawall wind whipping at the JTT’s stuffed softly beneath my helmet. And I’ll smile through sea salt paint on parted lips, a cool drink I will tip to the sky.
After that I will smoke all the cigarettes I never allowed myself as a teen careful to hold them like a French actress or James Dean, flipping off people that give me stink eye. Reveling in this bacchanalia, no longer afraid of all the shoulds that once orbited the wounds on my body like flies.

Because now I know the punchline. I know that the algebra and clean language, the cover letters and veggies were all something to be told. a distraction. the way realtors stage a room with shiny objects.  Something heavy to hold down the paper thin flapping. A way to convince the buyer of legitimacy.

But today will be different. Today you will watch.

And I will sing all the stupid songs we learned in choir, consider the word Lebensmude and its direct translation–life tired), smile at all the dogs, purge the years of pop culture from my guts extinguished in deep merciless belches.

Watch me as as Kevin Federline, Corey Feldman, Gangnam Style and Britney’s shaved head, spill from my mouth shattering like candy coloured sunshine. Soon to be sweet dust. And only once the sun slips into the bay will I lay myself on the grass with what’s left of my hat. Slide my tongue across the night.

Collarbone hinged on horizon, moon sliding a cool palm up my shirt, nipples twisting into (pink) starbursts. My face, a hard ripple of light, a thrashing whitefish breaking against the dark sky. My brain, a spinning reel of all the women I ever wanted to touch. To become.


From the bed you listen to the jingle of dishes in the kitchen. You imagine your husband’s mouth, a tight sliver whistling small songs that spill into wriggling bassinette.  Sheets swirl in your den beneath your soft intruder body, once a stomach sleeper you now shift, flip. Milk hard breasts pushed past margins force a new hunt for sleep. Elsewhere. The low hum of television leaks beneath the door through a thin band of loyal light. Pillows crowd around your head like a crown, like the shells you once held up to your ear as a child, shells that once whispered ocean breeze and sand spit.

The start of something familiar starts to pull and so
                             you think
about the beams in the ceiling
          about insulation, gypsum,
                    the three coats of the stark eggshell white             brandishing
                                      bedroom walls
                                                that guard.
                                                          Keep you safe from the crying.

                                                                             Keep you safe.

Household Tasks

I have been injuring myself a lot lately,
papery skin scored
with scrapes, ruffled edges standing
at attention paying their respects to
jagged oppressors

restless nights robbing me of faculties,
red-rimmed household tasks,
                   rushed domestics gone awry

birthing, raspberry blush flesh, painted golden
and mint
that I suck on in deep reflex
a way to loosen up the pain.
                   Guess I forgot to put the safety clip on.

Table corners, crooked cabinet doors planes extending
solidarity with one another
planting brute force in tender
shin bone

I watch with patience and a touch of glee
while tissue
rises clean like winter sun.

Carlie Blume is a Vancouver born writer of poetry and fiction. She is a 2017 graduate of The Writers Studio as well as a recent graduate from the Vancouver Manuscript Intensive and Chelene Knights Advanced Poetry Workshop. Her work has appeared in The Maynard, Train: a poetry journal, Pulp MAG, Loose Lips Magazine, GUEST Poetry Journal and BAD DOG Review. She is currently working on a debut collection of poetry as well as a novel