Teresa Carson, poet and playwright, holds an MFA in Poetry and an MFA in Theatre, both from Sarah Lawrence College. She is the assistant director of the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching and associate publisher at CavanKerry Press. She is the author of two full-length collections of poetry—Elegy for the Floater (2008) and My Crooked House (2014)—and a limited edition chapbook—The Congress of Human Oddities. Here’s one of Carson’s poems:
My Crooked House
John wants to put a metal frame around our house as a way of correcting its lean.
He already put metal beams under the floor in the first-floor kitchen in an attempt to reverse its sagging.
He points out how the straight edge of the new built-in bookcase in the first-floor living room calls attention to the ceiling slant.
The space between wall and frame of the back door changes from 2¾ inches at the base to 4¼ inches at the top.
The second floor has its own set of problems: much carpentry had to be done to the kitchen window to square it on the wall, and objects that fall on the dining-room floor roll from north to south.
This morning he, while sitting in the yard, noticed how the stairs are off-center from the door.
“Yes,” I say to him, “all over there are signs of the leans, slants, settles, sags, and cracks underneath.”
“But,” I add, “this house has survived a century; it does not need to be straightened out.”
This event was funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc. through public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.