States of Poetry
Tenement Building (black & white photograph)
Chris Kilip, Tate Britain, 2014
you view the house from across the street
part of a terrace it fills the frame
the roof is cut off no sky dim light
upstairs a balcony
After you died, Nana, I went to your room,
it was dark like that place beneath the breakwater
where barnacles cling and children never dare hide
I opened a blind, a stuck window, breeze fanned
and fanned the room, light across your dressing-
table, triple mirrors. Amidst perfume bottles,
hairbrush, amber beads, your art deco box,
walnut with inlaid mothe ...
Sadness overwhelms me in this circle of cut
flowers; some face me, plead for help, but if
I were to cradle one tulip-heavy head in my palm
like a premature baby, would its petals (that remind
me of my mother's skin when she was old) fall
to the floor? Others turn away in a dried blush
of shame. Just a few plump bodies flaunt sheen
on velvet cloaks, ye ...
someone is leaving a plane and feeling the city wrap around them again. the atmosphere, it is always heavy around here. what that means is that it's humid. within the person there is an internal battle, then there is a decision, then there is action. while the consequences of the action play out, crickets play and not even in the background. the sound rises and all of a sudden it feels like the ...
at the patisserie the waitresses speak in French to each other while they slowly put in your coffee order. they do not seem rushed and their dialogue makes the experience seem authentic. I did not have cash and asked if they had a minimum on card. it was $10 and I had to add a chocolate truffle to my order to meet the price. I laughed to deflect attention from getting chocolate in the morning a ...
she used to walk out to the road at the end of town, put her arms and legs up to the sky and stretch out to reach all of the stars. the next summer it seemed like she would never have the chance to do it again, because of the locusts. everywhere in the town there were dead locusts covering the roads. locusts met their deaths on windscreens of cars and meshed inextricably into the grates of the ...
I am always on the edge of being careless. if I am leaving a table at a bar, for example, people always remind me to pick up my phone or my wallet as opposed to forgetting it. it is kind that people care to remind me. leaving the bus I didn't have enough time to do my checklist, which involves locating important items like my Opal card, wallet and phone. after I got off I knew I didn't have my ...
all of the businessmen are pleased to be outside on their lunchbreak. young men looking slightly awkward in suits reminds me of a past lover and I assume I will make this association for the rest of my life. I am always more ready than the men I meet. the clock in the arcade has the inscription above it 'time conquers all'. you could live by such a maxim, I daresay.
I love the whole world
said it) ...
to think the