Seated Figure with Red Angle (1988) by Betty Goodwin (by Anne Carson)

Original Text: 
Anne Carson, Men in the Off Hours (Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2001). This poem is reproduced on the Griffin Prize Web Site (from the winning volume on the 2001 Canadian Shortlist).
1If body is always deep but deepest at its surface.
2If conditionals are of two kinds factual and contrafactual.
3If you're pushing, pushing and then it begins to pull you.
4If police in that city burnt off people's hands with a blowtorch.
5If quite darkly colored or reddish (bodies) swim there.
6If afterwards she would sit the way a very old person sits, with no pants on, confused.
7If you reach in, if you burrow, if you risk wiping in.
8If a point that has been fed over years becomes a little bit alive.
9If the seated figure started out with an idea of interrogation.
10If there was a quality of very strong electrical light.
11If you had the idea of interrogation.
12If interrogation is a desire to get information which is not given or not given freely.
13If buried all but traceless in the dark in its energy sitting, drifting within your own is another body.
14If at first it sounded like rain.
The rest of the poem cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: