Carrie L. Kornacki has a B.S. in Journalism from Ohio University and a Certificate of Education from Bowling Green State University. She taught English Language Arts and Reading for nine years in Ohio; English As a Second Language in Suzhou, China; British Literature in Galveston and currently teaches at Westfield High School in Spring, Texas. In addition to her experience as a teacher in public and private schools, Ms. Kornacki worked for over 12 years as a copywriter and executive in print and broadcast advertising where she won regional CLIO awards for freelance radio campaigns. She has also worked in public relations and has performed her original poetry in Ohio as part of a community therapy team to assist the mentally ill. In addition, Ms. Kornacki has taught Sunday school and has worked with kids in summer creative writing programs. She lives in Spring, Texas with her husband and three dogs. She is currently working on a children’s fantasy Middle Reader, and performs her original work throughout the Houston area.
Carrie L. Kornacki will be a featured poet at our FPL Poetry Series reading on Wednesday, October 3 at 7pm. This reading, in honor of National Poetry Day, will be hosted by poet John Milkereit and will include poets Vanessa Zimmer-Falls and Kelly Ellis.
What might happen if my forehead split open,
right down the middle, perfect like a walnut,
just like the head of Milton’s god?
Could billions of colored dots shoot from
that blackness at the front of my head,
shoot one, two, three, each one a Eucharist
with sugar invading the world?
What would you do with these pieces of me
I give you?
Would you take the color hungrily in your mouth,
your heart darting like suicide without its whys?
Would you press these circles into your dusks
and dawns, until they fall shimmering like gravel,
until they’re only an echo, a copy, a nothing to touch?
And if you could, would you collect and study them,
buy, sell, trade and exploit them: make them stars,
put them on Oprah, steal their eyes, their hearts,
Could you use them at home for bath salts
and wedding rings, doorstops and money,
miracle drugs, patio lights, earrings and buttons?
You could boil them like eggs, bake them in cakes,
fold them in dough and forget them.
Maybe you’ll think they’re cute, rock them
like babies, squeeze their cheeks, take their
temperature, watch them grow up into mudslides,
so you’ll have to run like crazy.
Maybe you’ll stop and build a monument
to the god of space and worship each dot with
palms and ornaments and costumes.
Or maybe you’ll just send those dots home in a squall
of pride, my head still open like loving arms and ready,
ready to take it all back in a ricochet,
back into my cold black fire.
Carrie Kornacki (Garns)
“Save what you can, Emily. Save every bit of thread.
One of them may be the way out of here.”
Thomas Higgins, in a letter to Emily Dickinson
The layers of her coalesce with the scattered handfuls
of romance novels on East Beach, perhaps a month ago,
discarded from the window of someone’s car.
Brown words pose on shriveled, parchment pages
arching up and out like wings, and she sees everything
quivering gold, as things do at dusk, with the tumult
of her own stories where she, the heroine, in the middle
of her obsession, does not see the cliché.
She knows these stories should have never been written,
but she cannot surrender them. Touching the edges,
she will fold their pinions into the earth of her until she flies.
Carrie Kornacki (Garns)
Branch in the Postage Stamp Room
I trip over bars of light. Gemmed polyps of claustrophobia
and panic current through me as I run on cement walks,
over stone bridges, past whitewashed buildings, pagoda-tiled roofs,
my ink shape pounding into willow herb, amber lily,
persimmon trees burning inward with their suns.
Around a still silver pool, I pace, feel lotus-root citadels, unstained,
pursing hidden lips at me; see moon cats kneading my mutable
shadow, hear torso rock formations breathe as the things I’ve broken
stitch together into this frightening fecundity.
Here, over the polar ice-cap, where it is noon at midnight
I have no place to put the things I’ve severed.
Then I see the French Oak branch torn from its trunk.
This branch will bring things from outside in, save my mind
from imploding into a twilight crucible for all my mistakes.
And in my postage stamp room, I will hang snapshots of who I thought
I was, hang them from the blue silhouette of this twisting branch next
to my white bed. I will see my husband, my daughter, my lover,
my God and pretend they are still part of me, pretend nothing is lost
as a watch everything fade away.
Carrie Kornacki (Garns)
Other Poems by Carrie Kornacki: