The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Carol Berg’s “The Ornithologist Poems”

Carol reading

The Ornithologist Searches For A Shared Ancestry

She sought only the slow discoveries when she was young,
allure of the yellow caterpillar, sign of a cosmic self, she thought.

If she felt herself without direction, she consulted the indigo
of the ranunculus, the metabolism of willow flycatcher.

She sought self-ness in her teapot. Called it self-nests.
Practiced opacity while watching wagtails and pipits.

She calibrated her hunger by the rigorousness of the seagull’s
thrust to her thrown french-fry. Her thirst to the thrum of hummingbird’s

skull. Were her yearnings flimsy tiny parachutes she flung in her back
yard? Some suffocating grid of circumvention? There is no current

evidence to suggest a common ancestor, she heard the wood thrush sing.
I am an accidental species species species, she sang back.

This selection comes from Carol Berg’s chapbook The Ornithologist Poems, available now from Dancing Girl Press. Purchase your copy here!

Carol Berg’s poems are forthcoming or in Rogue AgentDMQ ReviewSou’wester,The JournalSpillwayRedactionsRadar PoetryVerse Wisconsin. Her chapbook,Her Vena Amoris (Red Bird Chapbooks), is available and her chapbooks, Ophelia Unraveling and The Ornithologist Poems are available from Dancing Girl Press. Her poetry has been nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart Prizes. She was a recipient of a finalist grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.  She blogs here:

Jennifer Hanks is the author of the forthcoming chapbooks Prophet Fever (Hyacinth Girl Press) and The Unsteady Planet(Instar Books), a collaboration with illustrator Julie Herndon. Her work has appeared in Arcadia, Ghost Ocean Magazine, Muzzle, Menacing Hedge, PANK, and other journals. She writes an ongoing column, Disorder Reigns, for Arcadia‘s online sundries blog. She is an MFA candidate at the University of New Orleans.


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