For months Mozart has been so crucial I haven’t played him.
The winds, filibustering the house, have heard
the chimney crackle and the paint strain
while the old obsessions went ignored. What was the point?
The sky is starling-filled granite, this open country
veneered with estates sudden as dark water rising. Main Street
clusters with pensioners
I had just walked out of the reeds at the confluence
of two rivers. Brown frogs stuck in my hair like gouts
of flung mud, my skin was whip-stitched, lacerated
with leeches. I was walking a path hazardous
As when the governess
Clutched to her bosom the damp head of Miles,
Who squirmed, unseeing, frantic for a hint,
Not able yet to guess
What she appeared to see in the haunted pane
Besides the backlit sky: the shape of Quint
Trying to find his way past her denial’s
Hard stare, not quite in vain.
I am in Louisiana with the dogs,
my lost generations of dogs.
How I got there, what budget tour I’m on,
whether my papers are in order,
my visa credible, is a total mystery.
Taken as Required
by Ynes Sanz
An age ago, ill-matched,
ignorant but willing,
we set the rules.
‘Step by Step’, we said. ‘No Bullshit.’
Today, thinking of something else
I stumbled across the grey metal bracelet
you looped over that stick of a wrist
where your thin blood stained the skin
to resemble an antique map or a bad tattoo
(like the one they inked on for that photo shoot in the ’50s).
So much activity outside
where sunlight spills across the snow
like cream –
Rain bubble-wrapping the windows. Rain
falling as though someone ran a blade down the spines
of fish setting those tiny backbones free. Rain
with its squinting glance, rain
To be alone in the wide room
in the house’s crooked elbow, turning point
for extensions as the family grew
and grew – and grew – to be alone in the one room
nobody needed now, though it might be resumed
like land, for guests or blow-ins, at any moment,
without notice (and that was part of
the appeal, the very tenuous feel of the place) to play the ...
Not since I was four or five at most
and in the first of many striped tee-shirts
have I been this close to the flavour of safety.
I’m walking into town again, the child of hills.
You bought me fish and chips for lunch, my own
adult portion because I asked for it, in Evans’s
tiled restaurant, the Alhambra of takeaways.