Catherine Hales

Lit-Mag #40 – Expatriations:  The expat edition

Three Poems

allowing for

this is the place       seasonally
adjusted       the confluence
of paths through thin woods

above a complacent river
extrapolating from this       (the mind
must have its landmarks)       all points

along the line are equally possible
equally invalid       a random set
of accidentals       of planets safely

in their houses       with all their bells
& caterwauling       she figures
& refigures & prefigures       the piano

in her room cluttered with chopin, bach
spilling to the floor       demisemiquavers
defying the tendonitis that spoiled it all

& after a while she stops playing
sighs & smiles & says what now?
what potential       what displacement

what discourses are available
to deal with a crisis of this magnitude
the language is in

appropriate to handle       she is constant
ly reminded that we are many       perhaps
too many       it’s strange having things

in different places (a mayday muckout
shifting furniture       an arrangement
to get used to)       say ‚himmel‘

say ’sky‘       erring on the side of
accumulation       of inertia
resisting return to a myth

ological point of origin       later
sitting on her balcony the house
opposite incongruous blue one storey

too many       there are people sitting
outside the bar down there their talking
& laughter funnelling up       on the next

door balcony small wind-&-rain
tattered flags on slender poles:
greece. germany. the state of california

secret agent

living amongst them speaking their language
following their movements her cover was perfect

she even looked like one of them       they
didn’t suspect a thing       the object of course

was to keep the bridge open & they intent on blowing it
upriver where the dam provided the power the first

cracks were appearing but the situation could be held
and at the coast the dykes were in good order       soon

the time would come to break cover & report back
but would her own recognise her after all this time?



returning then to where the ancestors
came from would constitute a loss

a process not towards redemption
but more process       in prescribed

landscapes       all maps & manuscripts
in the burned library aligning patterns

of streets & fields       solid as thought
hand on heart       no flag or common

myth       if only the accustomed
syntax would suffice       resilient

verbs shackled into place       the only
response departure       she knew the risk

that leaving cannot guarantee
ultimate arrival       least of all

in the intended place       the stone
can never hit the tree       & yet

she knows it does       the conflagration
changes everything       all records lost

in this city where her intonations
betray her letters still get through

Schreibe einen Kommentar

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert.

Diese Website verwendet Akismet, um Spam zu reduzieren. Erfahre mehr darüber, wie deine Kommentardaten verarbeitet werden.