This poem is about displacement— a fish out of water story about a young woman named Lynne whose imposed migratory patterns are the opposite of what most people choose follow. Lynne’s adventures in New York City all draw attention to people, animals, and things displaced in time and place, the result of immigration, population shifts, fishing, and family visits.
Placement and displacement are also part of the design of this multimedia work, which is arranged horizontally on a window that requires scrolling to navigate its 24,140 pixels (about 250 inches wide). As an HTML file from its very early implementation, it is essentially a collage of images, texts, videos, maps, drawings, and links, all coming from different sources, all positioned (using the position:absolute tag) to produce a coherent work. The use of links and anchors are cleverly used to enhance the poem’s theme.
J. R. Carpenter’s works are tricky to place, genre-wise, because they fall somewhere between poetry and narrative, memoir and fiction. Her succinct prose is poetically focused on evoking character and place, shifting subtly from factual to lyric, prose poem and verse. At the same time, her use of maps, photographs, and videos lend veracity to works that are presented as fiction, as she did in “The Cape.”