Poems and Texts

“The History of the Installation 6” by Julie Carr

The History of the Installation 6

After B.L. constructed a room inside a room made entirely of salt, he lead a goat into his house and watched him lick it to stubs and pools. The goat died, of course, of sodium poisoning and dehydration. B.L lay the goat’s corpse on its side and cut a slit into its belly. Expecting the goat’s entrails to fall through the slit, expecting the blood to pour, B.L. was shocked to discover nothing inside the goat at all – an empty carcass, and dry. He reached his hand into the cavern of the goat’s torso, feeling for organs, something, and pulled out only a crystal, pure salt. B.L. now sliced the goat’s body straight in half, and set one half on the floor, it’s empty and marvelous insides facing out. This he turned into a dollhouse for his daughter,
then 4. Her dolls lived inside the goat, sitting on little chairs that B.L. fashioned out of shells glued to sticks. The dolls slept on beds made of abandoned hummingbird nests. There’s some debate about what constitutes an installation as opposed to a sculpture. Certainly for B.L’s little girl, the goat’s body was “installation,” though for her dolls it was only a hotel.

Julie Carr

Julie Carr is the author of six books of poetry, most recently 100 Notes on Violence (Ahsahta, 2010), RAG (Omnidawn, 2014), and Think Tank (Solid Objects, 2015). She is also the author of Surface Tension: Ruptural Time and the Poetics of Desire in Late Victorian Poetry (Dalkey Archive, 2013). A chapbook of prose, “The Silence that Fills the Future,” was recently released as a free pdf from Essay Press.

Objects from a Borrowed Confession (prose) is forthcoming from Ahsahta press in 2016.

Carr was a 2011-12 NEA fellow and is an associate professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder in the English department and the Intermedia Arts Writing and Performance Ph.d. She is the co-founder of Counterpath Press and Counterpath Gallery.

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