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. 

Caroline Cabrera

The Internet makes me anxious


Any voice can speak at me whenever it wants,

can deliver to me whatever it likes.

I want to hole up in my house and then

I want to jump into the ocean.

I read an article that says, Giving birth 

to a solar system is more chaotic 

and dangerous than anyone thought.

And I think, really? I say it out

loud to myself, really? Did we think

such things were tidy? The internet

tells me I belong in L.A. That I 

am Julia Sugarbaker, Martin Crane,

and Tami Taylor. I want to tell you 

something: I invented the internet. 

At first I thought it was a punishment

for anyone who leaves me. Then I thought

it was a library. Now I know it is a ghost

of me that makes a ghost, too, 

of the living me. It is a shadow,

only un-moveable. I pour tea into 

the internet and watch it sizzle

but the internet rises up again

to write out my death story 

in google image searches. 

Baby deer, baby deer, happy 

birthday Caroline, field 

of poppies, newborn goat.



Before the podcast I knew nothing


About ducks. Oh sure, I could list mallard,

Muscovy, I could tell you about the purple-black 

of feathers and the duckling (Muscovy) who I

found broken-necked in the swale when our love

was young. How I wanted to smash it out of kindness

but was too weak so I walked away and cried

in traffic, surrounded by construction machines

that rise from disarray like horrible mother birds.

I know the oils of my hand are death to a duckling,

whose mother will abandon it at the scent of me.

I say eider duck and vaguely think Maine, a harbor

that rises and recedes enough to look desolate

as the moon at low tide. Past that, I am a fool, 

even still. I know to say buffleheads and hooded 

mergansers and that wood ducks are the pretty ones, 

the painted harlequin hussies of the duck world, 

a harlot of a bird, the radio says.



Screen Time


On the internet it is all pink 

oceans and arranged succulents 

or the bird-thin collar bones 

of ballerinas, contoured in black 

and white. The shadows they make 

are dancers too, and then another 

shadow on a brain. Every screen 

is a picture window where I can choose 

the picture but if I am careful I will choose 

my brain instead. Only a brain 

can save you from annihilation.


Her favorite souvenir is a fancy brass camel her brother-in-law brought her from Oman.

Caroline Cabrera is the author of Flood Bloom (H_NGM_N BKS, 2013) and the chapbook, Dear Sensitive Beard(dancing girl press, 2012). Her second full length collection is forthcoming this winter from H_NGM_N BKS. . You can find her on the internet at