Lauren Camp

The Untrained Eye

Where the radiologist read occlusion

in the outflow, my eyes swim depth

and crests on my husband’s wide monitor.

Every skull is configured from flat

bones, sockets and sutures,

but on the screen the rigid cavity

of my mandible is drawn in luminous

sashes of flexible processions: wide

cascades of symmetry

that turn in and drop out at 72 dpi.

My head is a shield, a series of decorative

blobs in a cinematic continent

created from clouds and baskets,

enmeshed shapes. I notice

what meets and passes. My head forms

delicate and elastic angles:

a nest, a clench, a lurch, the elision

of reason. Black marks crouch and roam

as we maneuver. My cranium

is nearly transparent with wings

where my nose should be.

Three turns of the wheel on the mouse.

My sinuses split to steep curves.

David’s warm, brown hand is held

in an ergonomic device he bought

at Office Depot this afternoon.

(At this age, every body is marred.)

The tableau keeps changing.


Here, and Here

Been here

a week, and I haven’t yet

read all

different ways the beginning—

Life is part thus,

and part commonplace:

the rippling light

riding the edge

of the porch. So what

if the ditch ends

in rust and abrupt

obsidian? We see it all, and take

pictures of elevation,

unable to find another view. We love

the detachment, the broken


on the window.

To whom should we rejoice

about what

never happens?

Lauren Camp is the author of two collections. Her third book, One Hundred Hungers, won the Dorset Prize (Tupelo Press, 2016). Her poems have appeared in Poetry International, Seattle Review, The Laurel Review, Memorious, Radar Poetry, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the inaugural Margaret Randall Poetry Prize and an Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Award. Lauren hosts “Audio Saucepan”—a global music program interwoven with contemporary poetry—on Santa Fe Public Radio. Camp_Photo