Sunday Poems X

Peeling back the curtain, I reveal that I stayed up until three in the morning writing the poem below. I thought this would be a little bit scandalous, seeing as basically the premise of this periodical was to publish a poem every Sunday written on the Sunday, but on further consideration, three in the morningwas in fact today so I guess I can cling to my innocence. Sometimes it’s enough to feel like you might be guilty to feel that you’ve commited a crime.

Much of art-making does feel like getting away with something: “someone’s paying me to do this?” And so we pull our teeth out in an effort to justify the names we call ourselves. Is most of being a creative person trying to justify our right to create, discounting the actual labour - often unpaid or underpaid - which does go into making art. I can’t imagine the situation in which I might stay up until three in the morning to finish something for any other reason. I guess that counts for something.

Sundays are a good time to think about what you’ve spent the last week doing; what you’ve eaten, what you’ve drunk, what you’ve seen, where you’ve been; we are what we do. So please, sit down and reflect with me. In my experience a poem sometimes helps the mind to slip into a contemplative state. Get in a comfortable chair, or sit on a cushion on the floor perhaps, and read with me. As always, I’m here if you need to talk.


We Remove

i)

and i think about the sun.

when am i not thinking about the sun?
i mean the moon,
when i’m tired enough i get the two confused:
i was out for a walk at 1am the other evening
and i said to my friend look at the sun
it is beautiful tonight
and they shook their head at me.

ii)

john cage
bird cage
bird song
sing song
sing out
came out
came down
feeling down
feeling ok
we’re ok
we’re lovers
only lovers
only games
playing games
playing out
sitting out
sitting still
perfectly still
perfectly poised
gently poised
gently removed
i’ve removed
i’ve collapsed
bridge collapsed
bridge design
graphic design
graphic violence
simple violence
simple mind
my mind
my life
long life
long legs
broken legs
broken teeth
brushing teeth
brushing hair
cutting hair
cutting volume
lowering volume
lowering standards
beauty standards
beauty politics
body politics
body fears
empty fears
empty lies
white lies
white doe
john doe

iii)

looking to
looking to
looking to
looking to

removal of
removal of
removal of

music

singing
dancing
singing
singing
dancing

opened up
opened up
opened up

we pull out our tongues,
we pull out our teeth:
we are what we remove.


This post was originally written on December 6, 2015 for Latitude 53, while I was their Writer in Residence.