THE UNBUTTONED EYE
My first full length collection of poems, The Unbuttoned Eye, 3: A Taos Press. To purchase a signed and personalized copy, follow the Square link below.
Here are some words from poets Cynthia Manick, Lloyd Schwartz, Patrick Donnelly and Frannie Lindsay regarding The Unbuttoned Eye:
In Carr’s Unbuttoned Eye, we are gifted with Mapplethorpe, self-portraits in frames, and bodies desired and grieved. These poems represent moments, sweat, 80’s glitter, and finally healing. We’re treated to flowers and the natural world of crows. Every spore bursts with feeling and “fluid drains away enchanted.” Uncompromisingly, Carr lays bare the realities of life and death - the vitality of pretty boys in bath houses where “pleasures shiver, all that’s male” and the AIDS pandemic where “the dead swallow boys with narrow shoulders.” Carr has a gorgeous gift for verse, stillness, and comes out victorious on the other side.
Cynthia Manick, author of Blue Hallelujahs
In these succulent, often disturbing poems—as in the photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe, with whom Robert Carr is in recurring dialogue—sex is less romantic than visceral. Yet what could be more alluring, harder to resist, even more giving, more dangerous—or more metaphorical—than sexuality at its most intensely physical? Some of these poems are hard to read, painful, elegiac, but so ruthlessly honest they remind us what art is for, to help us face—and embrace—what’s real.
Lloyd Schwartz, author of Little Kisses
I know of no book that captures as well as Robert Carr’s magnificent The Unbuttoned Eye does how all the phases of the history of gay sexual liberation in America, in retrospect, now seem to occur simultaneously—flirtation, seduction, hilarity, ecstasy, the discovery of specific erotic preferences (individual and shared), thrilling debauchery, romance, camaraderie, infection, medicalization, caretaking, mourning, elegy, euphoric recall and inevitable forgetting. Carr’s superb poems are tender intensities full of awe, creating a charged ritual stage upon which our handsomest ghosts are aroused, and arouse us, again.
Patrick Donnelly, Little-Known Operas
“Who were we? What was your name? Is it the same name as now? If you like I’ll pretend…”
From the trenches of the AIDS crisis at its nadir, comes Robert Carr’s cri de coeur. Whether the cry comes from decades back or yesterday’s smallest hours, its fiery tenderness grips us in the right-now. Carr’s lines have the texture of hurried love notes passed back and forth in a shimmering and illicit dark between the clenched fists of strangers and ghosts. They are ours to unrumple, but at the risk of transformative heartbreak. See us, say the innocently promiscuous and ravaged souls in The Unbuttoned Eye. Touch our wounds, cleanse them with recognition. Throughout Carr’s bold, unsparing book, we see, we touch. We utter an involuntary, deeply human, yes.
Frannie Lindsay, If Mercy