'did, have' by Jen Crawford | States of Poetry ACT - Series One

my mum, being this, terribly emotional, also some part, egalitarian,
'I give him six months, then he won't be, any longer. and she
who is afraid of the mobile
telephone

under clock water when the print reverses, St Pancras, the Hardy
Tree necked in hours, of roots, of entry, oublié, headstones
clicking crabclaw
telegraphy, un
addition, s'il vous plait

while him, happening to die on an aeroplane, indeed did, have

an operation in Cyprus, she, who was not afraid
in Sinai, though he was, Jehovah's witness

from the Republic of Whangamomona
the moebius road. thin as a saddle
and wet with rain. left flank
thin as a saddle, wet with
nausea, slipping. right flank
thin, as a saddle, wet, with
adoration, slipping. 'this is how
I remember, completing

the round stone                                          in the clay

half visible                                       the round stone

in the clay                              half visible

 

*

 

so I've sent a remonstrative text to Kate,
I felt I had to tell her off for asking for advice
and then not passing it on. she said twice

that you'd mentioned the machine
I became extremely worried
it is a very specific terminology

I lost four nights sleep
they are very dangerous people.
several times I've told her

to mention the Avoca understanding your need
for absolute discretion

 

*

 

beside the sealed boxhead
neither sign-posted nor covered in camouflage grass
at a moment when shoes are slippers and
the world has run out of cigarettes, predictably
the fluorescent reaches. birds split overhead,
the boxhead alchemises the imprint
and returns it.

I think I was fifteen
before I realised
she was my father's lover.
a Hungarian thing.
Neither Eastern nor Western,
but a painful, pram-shaped expression,
vermilion hair stumbling around St Martin's
calling Roxie Roxie while pugs quack.
he said it himself, three hundred or more but honestly
Risa, as your father I swear just this one

 

*

 

Mona Lisa among the Pestiferes

uno momento –
touch the bubo!
click click click
click click click

 

*

 

whereas in Palmerston North
the landmarks are the problem

I was lost for two hours, sunburn, the girl on the radio
four, heatstroke, certain privileges

before visiting hours, thelonious on sky
I trim his toenails, he dozes

let me ask. a mother, daughter, bichon frise.
chlorinal. for advice on my position. I've
never been to London but they know I'll love it.

and they dry sweetly in the hot car air
the side window hammers out a vacuum
the bichon on my lap accepts restraint

 

*

 

I am what I eat
I am what I touch
I am charged with the collection
I am afraid I can not take another photo for you
I have not yet been to the Richelieu wing
I must be complete by four.
Non, pardon. Je ne parle pas.
Then in English. Excuse me madam.
I wonder if I can trouble you
for just a single Euro.

 

*

 

I don't know where I've left my
in Camden whispering
annabayannabaywannabaymarawanna
jammed birdwhistle street shoveyshoulder twenty pounds
vanishing from my hand
and so I respectfully but forcefully demand
that you arrange for the deletion
of this erroneous, misleading and life-threatening
history from my records; indeed I plead
for the deletion of my records in toto; and further demand
that the Patient Alert is immediately recalled,
and that all records of the Patient Alert are destroyed
by each of the practitioners and agencies
that have received it

 

Jen Crawford

'did, have'  was previously published in Napoleon Swings (Soapbox Press, 2009)