Somewhere Between: “Greenville” by Lindsay Turner and Walt Hunter

"Rebuild" by Madeline Partner /

This poem is from a chapbook we’re writing together called Wasted Empty Space, in which we work through some shit about the place where we live. Although we’ve both been writing poems for longer than we’ve known each other, this is one of the few things we’ve written together. The chapbook is almost finished, but we’re still figuring out what it means for us to do this: it’s an act that that opens onto distances and dynamics that are different from the ones we’re used to encountering in the daily stuff of a relationship. It’s challenging and fun and unnerving. Anyway, some of the poems in Wasted Empty Space are Walt’s and some are Lindsay’s and some—like this one—are by both of us. For this one, we think it was written at a booth in a bar. We both wrote abecedarian poems and then we scrambled them: someone’s A, someone’s Z, someone’s B, someone’s Y, etc. And then we scrambled it a little more. We don’t really remember who wrote what.

—Lindsay & Walt


& a private company got called in
Zones of dispossession, broken ground
Before land & houses get too expensive
You know that nothing here is true
Call your mother-in-law, your sister, and the police
Crossing out the days until the next departure
Dedicated to the preservation of that space
What is the name of that tree

Exhaust, water tower, runoff, hawk-perch, low shoulder, landfill, ruin
Mountain views: watch the city sunset from your porch
Find your bliss, your private brand, your yeah that’s the one
Unless you tell me this is worth it
Glossy glossy glossy glossy—
Together in the hours we no longer sleep

Hawk-perch, low shoulder, landfill, ruin, got stuck here
I slept on the floor in the unfurnished rental
I was messaging someone & realized what time it was
Rotation is a form of transformation
Just in time to message you, so this is what you know so far
Quit the job, the house, the day, the love
Kicking the can down the literal road
Part of the day has been misplaced
Like a crossword: just keep filling in filling in

Once I lit the votives in the empty fireplace
The middle is the hardest, you’ve done so much already & have to keep on
Not here, not here, not here, not here, not here
Never, never, never, never, never

Moving between two buildings, the day expands and fades
Sticking around the roof for a while, hello—
Lower the blinds until the light resists
Potentially, potentially this is the best possible moment
Knowledge of the morning every morning
Rust, pastel, dogwood, faux leather
Just don’t tell me this is my fault

Siloed against the sky
Is it a redwood, is it a dogwood
This is what happens when people work to build things
Hating the city becomes your only occupation
Until the good things have been built to live in
Go there to see the neighborhoods erasing
Victoria from Philly broke up with her girlfriend
Forgive me I didn’t think we would ever have to choose

Going west is really a challenge, you have to get across
Every day an accident follows you into your dreams
Copper roofs in rain, the scrapings after rain from the gutters
At noon the sun is unlivably hot
And those fuckers behind us ate half their food
Black plumes, you check the news for the expected end
Quietly the industries have shifted, like on tiptoe
Exhaust, coal ash, abstinence, sashay, stay still
Did you think that someone else was coming
Your very own yeah that’s the one



Walt Hunter is the author of Forms of a World: Contemporary Poetry and the Making of Globalization (Fordham, 2018) and the co-translator of Atopias: Manifesto for a Radical Existentialism (Fordham, 2017) by Frédéric Neyrat. He teaches at Clemson University.


Lindsay Turner’s first book of poems, Songs & Ballads, was published in 2018 by Prelude Books. Her translations of contemporary Francophone poetry and philosophy include Atopias (Frédéric Neyrat, with Walt Hunter, Fordham, 2017), as well as adagio ma non troppo (Ryoko Sekiguchi, Les Figues, 2018) and The Next Loves (Stéphane Bouquet, Nightboat, 2019). She teaches English and Creative Writing at Furman University.