New Clouds cover

New Clouds

Emily Hunt

Copyright © 2014 Emily Hunt. All rights reserved.

A Traveling Pattern

the sea could be out there
the cars could be
of ghosts of ice
and they are and the black
glass could be
what leads me to the sea
or breaks me off from being
in my room sometimes
I’m not here


the trailing arm is badly bent
and the right rear tire is falling apart
the accessory belts are badly cracked
and the battery is the wrong size
the center exhaust pipe is rusting out
the rear brake lines are rusty
the fuel tank seam is very rusty
the fuel tank is dented
the fuel filler neck is rusty and smells like fuel
the left rear strut is leaking
the converter is rusting out
the tires are mismatched sizes
the oil looks new and clean
the shade is a sick lavender
my rides are quiet, I imagine money
and less, the sound of the engine
plays for the sun
passing strong walls of snow
my car is a natural setting
for a broken radio

I Was the Giant Factory

I went there every day
I did care about my job, its feeling wrong and endless,
the smooth machines, their heavy curves,
the rows of windows, revolving doors,
what filled the air, a thousand locks,
one looming cage, I’d only watch
Others there said little
and in the space they left
I slid invisibly, measuring, testing, slowing
what they saw in me and one of them
I decided I could hate
or love like I admired
the rusty sun in her, the deadly beams

Rough Belief

you were the daffodil
leaning over a history book
memorizing Pompeii
for a dead TV


My landlord is dying.
She lives in the room next to mine.
Sometimes I wake to her husband
asking her questions like
do you want to end it
you’re wearing me out.
Only once I saw inside their place. It looked full.
The bed was near the door.
As we talked, I thought of their exchanges
passing in and out of my sleep.
This morning I waited a long time
for the cars from both sides
to finish their passing
and I crossed my street.
I sat down on a bench
in Luther A. Clark Memorial Chapel.
The chapel is a patch of grass
between the road and the locked cemetery.
The fence billows out where the steel is bent
by some kind of pressure
built over time.
The bushes are carved flat
and they look weak near the ground
where their thin, peeling branches are exposed.
There is a ragged teal pine
alone near the center,
exhaust in the air.
A dark blue tarp
tied over a roof on the block,
another opened and black from a fire.
And there are buds on the tree
over this grave.
The day before she died was exceptionally sunny.
One could imagine a kind of law.
A bare sky and heat.
She sat on our porch
while I vacuumed.


And if the sky was round
and being filled
in November, the dark month appeared
smaller, and later
a kind of gray.
My arm was out the window.
Fall bled forward.
The upper edge of the whole sun
shifted something higher.
You were there, with me in the yards,
sometimes blue
in your clothes.
We spoke of the morbid.
Sparks seemed to spread from it.
Often a spawn of frogs
the impression of which
weakened as it lasted.
We appeared
to see nature, the sky
rose and all that should be green
appeared to us in autumn.
And these plain faces existed,
passing underneath.
In red light, we acted alone.
Two prisms, one upon the other.
Little kids played soccer
by the twisted corn.
The border spread
while we were eating dinner.
The sun slid in the grooves.

It's Good to Be in Your Paintings

for example you’re alone in me
though out here on my own
in my fixed legacy
I go to the gorge
on my way to one river
they tell me take your dog
out of the lake
and holding my animal
leashed to a tree
judging can be very subtle
Massachusetts is dark green

The Crossing Over

The crossing over is never for good
and always unsure.
But I do know this year has been lighter.
I’ve moved around it freely, apart from the day
I read too many emails from my past.
That morning I felt vast and nauseous
like the air at the center of four people
looking for a heart inside a ghost.
I moved through my house
doing the small things I had to
thinking of more sleep.
My friend picked me up
and we drove through an odd light.
Every corner, every street held
some dissolving feeling.
After a few miles we stopped
and walked to where the land met the river.
Her silver car was parked at the edge of the field
holding silence far from us.
I had never seen her cry before.
I talked for her, about our town, its theatre,
pathetic and charming,
and how each act tended to collapse
into some simple display:
five people, a chair, a door to the next world.
How to bring a new figure close
was like taking a globe, turning it once
and placing it back on its pedestal.
How huge this made one feel, and how empty.
She included me in her confusion
and I felt useful. I wanted to be like her
enough to understand myself
though I knew that even if I were
or even once I could, I’d be mixed up
in some older mystery.
She may be on another coast by then
or out at sea, taking notes.
I may have moved to where there is no snow.
We may barely be in touch.
Every now and then
there was the silent progress of a car
cutting through a farther field.
The sun was lower.
It reminded me of hell.
It felt like years had passed
and we were the only ones who knew.

I Was Very Angry

I paused to enjoy the view
I began again
I tore myself in half
The air was dropping
rain into a black hole
and God was scared too
He rolled the windows up
I screamed
No one for miles in the American painting turned a head
I held my sleeve I screamed again and felt no different in the dream a tiny rock
rolled down a crevice
also silt
felt like sand amassing
feels like I feel moving as I note
sweet grasses gently everywhere
the lack below my feet
as I enter yet another
McDonald’s by the sea
I think about when it was gone
and night sat on this lot, stored its stars here breathing
I eat the salt, I plummet
into memory where I find
memory is sick of me
and I remember reality
It was a car it got away
and drove itself to vanish


Black ridges, like built shadows
where the lane lines were.
Dirt on the snow,
rain on the snow,
killers at school.
The outdoors are the same.
Full of gorgeous product, mostly irreversible, and the sun
clashes with new clouds.
The actors are made of wood in the meadow.
Even being in the world gets old.
Lying in the spring together on the phone.

Holiday Inn

It’s hard to breathe at the mechanic
where the cars are mid air
and the men are lying on the floor
out my window, examples of mountains
my car lived behind the house where the owner was dying
I didn’t want to come to myself that way again
on the ceiling I drew something
to delete an end
it could describe
black, and pass through text, like reading
on vacation, veering from a series
lying on the floor
a symptom of the universe
as common as the beach
climbing to the vending machine
is also not intimate
the bed is higher
to protect it
and nothing like the highway
the ferns are growing in space
the phone like a prop
is closest to the dragon fly
and bland lively gnats on the cracked ledge
where the air below the sky is
a sense and Virginia or
Paris Blue Street of Strength and small bug
fake wood and cracked dragon
chocolate and soap a feeling
I couldn't make a statement about
this beginning breaking like a broken cloud
something cold and what I am
and other cars, no food around
the bad hotel, no common air
in rain, expensive quiet
poured from the sun
I rest my soda by the stone


Many thanks to the editors of the following journals, in which a few of these poems previously appeared: Sea Ranch, TYPO, Diagram.