A Journal

"I'm going to come back to West Virginia when this is over. There's something ancient and deeply-rooted in my soul. I like to think that I have left my ghost up one of those hollows, and I'll never really be able to leave for good until I find it. And I don't want to look for it, because I might find it and have to leave".----Breece D'J Pancake, in a letter to his mother. 

 Carly Joy Miller






I leave, mistake a bird’s broken 

leg for twig hidden in

the curt cloud-shadows 

of sun. The berries in my hand

may save or silence me. In my silence

I strip my clothes like the world is my house.

The sky, my dark ceiling. Moss, lush carpet, body

the dry earth, and all

doorhinges and rusted circuits

stain and spread a copper sheen.




Let the record show I was kind with the pick-axe hovered low by my thigh



I begged the officer
               to let me tango in churches
                               as an act of confession.

He didn’t stand long. I bleached his chambray shirt
                to construct a proper signal
                                for surrender. That doesn’t mean

I didn’t spit. I begged him to drown me in the river
              and be fished out nameless
                                   faux baptism for the girl

who quit rage. The war against the body
is over. Now I want to thrust my hands
into the earth—press my wildness low. 


Over the holidays, I participated in a white elephant and received a bottle of beer and a short beer glass with Rasputin's face. I used to be terrified of Rasputin because I shrieked when he popped up with glowing green eyes during a video I was watching in eighth grade. Now I look at the glass fondly and I see it now: he does have a way about himself.






Carly Joy Miller is the assistant managing editor for the Los Angeles Review, a contributing editor for Poetry International, and a founding editor of Locked Horn Press. She is also the co-curator of the reading series, The Brewyard. Recently nominated for a Pushcart, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Third Coast, Linebreak, Vinyl, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere.