Welcome Back, Carol Guess and Daniela Olszewska!

This month we are featuring the poets and writers who have signed with us in the past six months—all writers who submitted work during one of our two annual open reading periods.
Today we bring you Carol Guess and Daniela Olszewska whose collaborative poetry collection Human-Ghost Hybrid Project, will be published next March. This will be Carol and Daniela’s second collaborative book with Black Lawrence Press. Their first, How to Feel Confident with Your Special Talents was published in 2014. Carol has two other titles with BLP: With Animal (co-authored with Kelly Magee) and Doll Studies: Forensics.

carolguessThe Authors

Carol Guess is the author of fifteen books of poetry and prose, including Darling Endangered, Doll Studies: Forensics, and Tinderbox Lawn. In 2014 she was awarded the Philolexian Award for Distinguished Literary Achievement by Columbia University. Her most recent book, With Animal, was co-written with Kelly Magee and published by Black Lawrence Press in 2015. She teaches in the MFA program at Western Washington University.


img_5850Daniela Olszewska is the author of three full-length collections of poetry: cloudfang : : cakedirt (Horse Less Press, 2012), True Confessions of An Escapee From The Capra Facility For Wayward Girls (Spittoon Press, 2013), and Citizen J (Artifice Books, 2013). With Carol Guess, she is the co-author of  How To Feel Confident With Your Special Talents (Black Lawrence Press, 2014).


Excerpt from Human-Ghost Hybrid Project

Hypochondriac Ex-Nurse
This room smells very elderflower and hospice-afternoon. My forehead freckles. Every time I sass the thermometer, basement mice scurry away the special blue cheese I was saving for all of our miraculous recoveries. My tote bag’s inscribed with the old Hippocratic oath: Life is for the loving. First, do no less. In school, I was the worst at finding veins. No one volunteered to be my partner. I punctured lovers, red running from heart to syringe. Be My Valentine had special meaning. My cartoon cards were popular with boys and girls alike. You haven’t seen hunger until you’ve seen an arm swollen with want in the nick of goodnight. I lost license to practice due to licentiousness. My secret’s safe in hazardous waste.
Your Bedroom, Which Used To Be A Utility Closet
I woke up with that doe-dead feeling about you. You reminded me too much. Don’t mention nostalgia to a woman holding three different kinds of flowers in her gut. You love ballerinas again. This means you will only ever like one type of rejection at a time. Outside, a January-ish whistle. Ask about how I’ll get home again now that I’m too angry to blink. Ask about when you can see where we’re at in a month. Don’t ask about beach glass in my galoshes. I found a text message in a bottle, sand and broken glass everywhere, okay? I woke up and went missing. You reminded your alarm to chime. Don’t mention pirouettes to a pole dancer; jealousy’s just reckless nostalgia. You love when the mop falls in love with the broom. Your bedroom blossoms with buckets and gloves.
Crab Cake Walk
Vertically gowned, lake-bound, a billion fish disprove the last leaden hook theory. Underwater, but still overland, pirate gold pockets incur sea goddess wrath. Hence, dead pirate face; hence, unlikely accommodations in the mermaids’ gated community. Password: Fin. How will you know which “I” I am when I’m fickle, changing gown to gun to guardrail? How will you know which stain to choose: splayed legs or lips? Which tilts the earth back on its axis after earthquake, tornado, and man-made disaster? We’re doing swimmingly down here, sans online shopping and Tea Party celesbians. Introverted whales spout off. We flick our tails, scales bright as stolen cigarettes. We wait for shipwrecks.