Discussing “The Fish” Three Times In Four Hours by Carrie Fountain

Today I am a spoon among forks.
Yesterday I was a fork among knives.

Sometimes I am the knife.

In one class I am What do you think this poem
is about?
And they are What are we

supposed to write? In the next I’m Maybe
it doesn’t matter what this poem is about,

and they are Why does she let the fish go?
In the third class I am Why does she let

the fish go? and they are What is this poem
The glare of sun on the whiteboard

has nothing on the dry-erase marker and its
dangerous scent. I am Tell me, what does your

real life smell like? and they are My life is really
none of your business.


Carrie Fountain’s poems have appeared in The American Poetry ReviewPoetry MagazineCrazyhorse, and Tin House. Her first collection, Burn Lake, was selected by poet Natasha Trethewey as a winner of the 2009 National Poetry Series Award and was published in 2010 by Penguin. She teaches at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, where she lives with her husband, the playwright Kirk Lynn, and their children.