Spaces Where Spaces Are

By C.E. Putnam
Price: $14.00

Many of the poems in C.E. Putnam’s third book got their start in stolen work moments from 1997-1998 whilst working various jobs in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Spaces Where Spaces Are also includes the sixteen part post-apocalyptic diary poem, “Periodic Zone: Log,” and the text/poem companion for the art opening “Recent in Origin: A visual anthem for the wet frontier” as well as twenty never before published handbills promoting the show.

Spaces Where Spaces Are

Spaces Where Spaces Are - Cover Spread

5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm) | Black & White on Cream paper | 106 pages | Publication Date: September 22, 2012

Three poems from Spaces Where Spaces Are


take a minute to picture it:
this seashore sand presses to the outer
as some cracks in the body open this
Thursday’s unexpected work stoppage

the drone tells me it is one I make
the yellow yellow before me

the sun!: the middle age bigger and
bigger around you tell me I am

eating a lot of beef these days you are a boat
enthusiast who sees strangers planting
explosives in a Denver office building I have
a scientific relationship with trout
faced people and explore a cave
housing the skeletons of four pilot whales

(simple blue and white colors some pink)

in a telephone call today: a stranger
invites me to visit the old shoe
factory his ex-wife of many
years died this afternoon

what is the thing that holds
the ocean on the earth?

I get into a tiny box and push
against the sides until
it is good singing:


Dear Dan,

A few days ago I went
down to the beach
after dinner and walked
as far as the rocks
near the light house.
There, there is a difference
in the state of being
the same. Dan, a man
needs friends, and you
are a man, but you
don’t have any friends.
On the beach there were
little pools the kind
the sea will leave behind
filled with rocks and orange
sea pens, the kind you like.
I’ve explained this basic
situation to you before:
the high-vocabulary
person working with low
vocabulary people may
become an alcoholic.
You don’t like living
in a colony or hearing
the tones of Pioneer
English. Why don’t you
get some servants to throw
you a party and make
some friends? The sea was
calm and the moonlight
made a broad path on it.
You might still go into
the living room and sit
on the cot. Is the canvas
still wet? I tightened
that lock until the little
teeth bent back. Some fishing
boats were leaving
the harbor, but I could not see
the color of their funnels.
I know there is a head
in your hands, hands in
your head, head-hands
in your hand-head. In
the distance a big liner
was passing. Bing Crosby
and David Bowie were singing
The Little Drummer Boy. It was so
warm out that some people
were actually bathing. I prefer
to bathe when the sun
is shining. Maybe these
people were busy all day
and were not able to bathe
in the sun. The thought of this
makes me increasingly sad.


As President Van Buren
said to the bee
pass the crayon box
you can breathe
through the built-in
sharpener we all have
the right to kill
orange jackets
a part of our natural
monkey sniff
mustard chain
of being
granola bar green
the latest color is “ass”
gassed up streams
lost my stinger
flowers make flowers
our home sweet home.