Emily Bludworth de Barrios


“Be these omens from heaven or hell,”


Another bad
type of emotion that remains below most silvery or polished feelings

is a
great envy, which has the wistfulness of

a boat,
or a fine day that occurred at some time in the deep past.

When I
encounter it meaningfulness makes a sound or a feeling like smoothness in

When one
feels low or envious there is the sound of the number zero.

It continues
in a circle and makes a noise like this:


“she thought she heard a sigh.”


The cars on the freeway make a gentle windy sound.
But because the cars are not the ocean
it is not really a gentle sound.
Instead it is a bitter sound.
At night the freeway’s bitter wind drops into my dreams
where ornate houses stand beside the freeways.
The sound from the freeway drifts and covers them.
They darken with soot.
Only it is not soot, but something with a name that sounds more bitter.
The ocean is nearby.


EMILY BLUDWORTH DE BARRIOS is the author of the chapbook Extraordinary Power (Factory Hollow Press, 2014). The titles of the poems that appear here have been taken from the text of Horace Walpole’s 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto.


Read more by Emily Bludworth de Barrios


Six poems in H-NGM-N
Two poems in Tender
Poem in SPECS
Three poems in B O D Y
Another three poems in B O D Y
Author’s Website