By Erin Coughlin Hollowell
Writers’ Weir: Nor the present, nor the least wisp that is known 102517 AE 1 Capital City Weekly By Erin Coughlin Hollowell
Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Story last updated at 10/25/2017 - 4:50 pm

Writers’ Weir: Nor the present, nor the least wisp that is known

By Erin Coughlin Hollowell

If you say the word violence over and over,

meaning becomes unhitched. Still,

skin is eloquent with bruises. A man

talking about breakage who has always

remained whole cannot understand

a flinch trapped in a woman’s body.

Violence is a book with many pages

written long ago. She can study it

and then sink it deep in the cold ocean.

Tell her friends that she’s forgotten

how violence tastes, the acid tin shiver of it

against the roof of her mouth.

One day when she wakes, the floor

drenched with salt water, she will

remember violence’s old rhetoric.

That language of bludgeon and silence.

Erin Coughlin Hollowell lives in Homer, Alaska. Boreal Books, an imprint of Red Hen Press, published her first poetry collection “Pause, Traveler.” Her second collection “Every Atom” is forthcoming in April 2018 from the same publisher. She has been awarded two Rasmuson Foundation Fellowships, a Connie Boochever Award, and an Alaska Literary Award. She teaches for the University of Alaska Anchorage Low-Residency MFA Program, is on the core faculty of the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference, and is executive director for Storyknife Writers Retreat. She writes about poetry and writing at