'derailed' by Chris Arnold | States of Poetry WA - Series Two

excerpt from Ligature

he drops his shoulders
lets out his breath
finds himself benched
between green wood slats and
a black plastic platter of sushi,
disposable sticks in his hand.
ache on his right eye like a river stone
thinking like five hands
at the piano.     city stratified in front
his eye’s diameter
curves the park – half-moons grass
before his brain corrects,
sets it back flat beneath
palms     pines     poinsettias
that trail over asphalt;
ocean wind in
the river is busy
seems to flow back
toward the valley
as if behind its face
it replayed a moment
– something misspoken –
over and over
hoping the minute
were different.
he empties his breath
and says stop
the sound of her name
a song that doesn’t budge,
contains less
sound without her.
he begins.         on the hill
he should turn right
but thinks of his chair
pinboard partition
the stench of lynx in the men’s
and walks forward:
North until the rail bridge
lifts him      stops at its peak
as cars pass under: aluminium slab
and pantograph
hide passengers
sat silent         still
as the city speeds beneath

Chris Arnold

Chris Arnold

Chris Arnold

Chris Arnold lives in Perth and used to work as a software engineer. He was published in Westerly’s first writers’ development program, and now works as the journal’s web editor. In 2017, Chris commenced a creative PhD at the University of Western Australia, where he is combining his background in programming with poetic composition. He aims to produce a narrative for hybrid print and electronic reading, and is working, at the time of writing, with generative text and audio.