Body, remember that night you pretended
it was a film, you had a soundtrack running
through your head, don’t lie to me body,
you know what it is. You’re keeping it from me,
the stretched white sheets of a bed,
the spinning round of it, the high whining sound
in the head. Body, you remember how it felt,
surely, surely. You’re lying to me. Show me
how to recognise the glint in the eye of the dog,
the rabid dog. Remind me, O body, of the way
he moved when he drank, that dangerous silence.
Let me feel how I let my eyes drop, birds falling
from a sky, how my heart was a field, and there
was a dog, loose in the field, it was worrying
the sheep, they were running and then
they were still. O body, let me remember
what it was to have a field in my chest,
O body, let me recognise the dog.
Kim Moore (amazing poet + reader!)
I am stuck in traffic in a taxicab
which is typical
and not just of modern life
mud clambers up the trellis of my nerves
must lovers of Eros end up with Venus
muss es sein? es muss nicht sein, I tell you
how I hate disease, it’s like worrying
that comes true
and it simply must not be able to happen
in a world where you are possible
nothing can go wrong for us, tell me
My Young Son Asks Me
My young son asks me: Should I learn mathematics?
What for, I’m inclined to say. That two bits of bread are more than one
You’ll notice anyway
My young son asks me: Should I learn French?
What for, I’m inclined to say. That empire is going under.
Just rub your hand across your belly and groan
And you’ll be understood all right.
My young son asks me: Should I learn history?
What for, I’m inclined to say. Learn to stick your head in the ground
Then maybe you’ll come through.
Yes, learn mathematics, I tell him
Learn French, learn history!
The Sensual World [excerpt]
I was not prepared: sunset, end of summer. Demonstrations
of time as a continuum, as something coming to an end,
not a suspension; the senses wouldn’t protect me.
I caution you as I was never cautioned:
you will never let go, you will never be satiated.
You will be damaged and scarred, you will continue to hunger.
Your body will age, you will continue to need.
You will want the earth, then more of the earth—
Sublime, indifferent, it is present, it will not respond.
It is encompassing, it will not minister.
Meaning, it will feed you, it will ravish you,
it will not keep you alive
Le Livre de Ma Vie
I love you.
But who is the I
and who is the you?
Mr. Potato Head
Mr. Potato Head
Please accept the pressing in
of your eyes.
Here are your glasses.
A book for the evening.
In the book a person
is smiling at you.
Smiling and smiling
like a mother over a baby.
Remove the pipe from your mouth
Help me behave,
weeping in the dark earth.
I am in a hospital bed when I feel an overwhelming pain in my stomach. I am sure I am going to die if I don’t get any help. Nurse! Nurse! I yell, but no nurse comes. There are no signs of any nurses. There are no signs of any other patients. There are no signs that electricity has been invented. There is no glass in the windows. I get up from the bed and walk slowly out into the corridor. Some papers are swept up in a breeze across the floor. Someone please help me! My water broke! My pleas echo in the corridor and then it finally happens. The terrible deer that has been clawing and biting at my insides for years crashes out of me and spills onto the tiles. It then quickly leaps into the night through the window. I can hear it dash through the bushes. I can hear it splash into the ocean. I can hear it tear at the air in the sky. It is the world’s problem now.
“From my mother: grace under pressure; the uses of mystery; how to get what I want. From my father: how to disappear, how to not exist.
I was born free, I’ve had the time of my life and for all we know I’m going to live forever.”
Ali Smith, The Accidental