Along the Diminishing Stretch of Memory / Christie Collins

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dancing girl press, 2014

These poems rant and laugh and grieve. They question and pull and wink. Wonderfully, above all, they have no use for caution. These audacious, incisive poems explore everything from the gut-punch of loss to a sentient teratoma to what it means to have an accent that “will undo this world.” These poems will grab you by the lapels, and if you’re lucky, they won’t let you go. Christie Collins is an electric new voice in poetry.

—Catherine Pierce

This debut collection is—as the poet writes—“the lover whose song cannot be cured.” These poems gift us with infectious motion, a restless sense of identity that discovers a regenerative spirit by daring to enact psychic destruction. The elegy’s grievous descent becomes a vehicle toward the creation of a vulnerable and sympathetic voice often in tension with various doubles—a cowboy, a cabana boy, a rag doll, a green bell paper, even (Heaven, help us) a teratoma. The pleasing result is a mythmaking that transforms autobiographical energy into shared bond. Collins is a talent to watch.

—Richard Lyons

Christie Collins lives and writes in Louisiana where she teaches at LSU while working on a PhD at the University of Louisiana Lafayette. Recently, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Cold Mountain Review, Canyon Voices, and So to Speak.


Imagine this poem
is an apple tree.

Imagine this poem
is the cow that eats the tree.

Imagine this poem
is the farmer who shoots the cow
to save the tree.

This is where I’m coming from.

What does the poet do?
Well, what does anyone do?

Okay, imagine the tree could talk.
Imagine the cow would listen.
Imagine the farmer would care.

Any answer will do.