Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Poems by Thomasin Alter


I’ve confined myself to knowing nothing.
I’ve built this cage of wires and hair,
I can’t escape it.
But it’s mine, and that’s something.
I don’t mind being lonely.
I don’t mind being empty.
I’d rather pretend that this is vacant
than know that it is occupied.
Please, please,
don’t mind.
Don’t spend your time.
This cage is impenetrable,
you’ll never break through.
I’ll catch you in my web.
I’ll eat you. I’ll have you.
The ground is heavy with
new beginnings, you slip your
fingers under my skin,
and you suck on the blood
flowing wickedly
through my veins.
I sit here, soggy,
hoping you’ll forget.
But you don’t,
I can see that,
I can see it in
your teeth and
your toes. I know.


Static of frog noise, 10 pm walking
Back from pruned hands, fixer fix
ing gray. I expose. Cracked lens, crooked
eye vision lop
sided. Warts, slimy telling sorry tales of
Yesterday, tomorrow, to
day. Machine, over and over,
static of repetition. Fixed time fixed
aperture, fixed f stop
ing down. I stop at a pond. I grab at a


We lift our feet in the same place
One step ahead, you
you guiding leading foraging
you in the act of deception
casting shadows where they do not belong
making strangers of branches
lifting my lids too high stretching too hard
making a fool of this night.
but I still lift my foot here,
I still listen for the rustling of your leaves
and my ears
wait impatiently for the creaking of your bones


My legs hurt
That familiar ache
Childhood is thrust back
wards, four words--
‘this pain is old’
knee is raw’
‘my mother loved me’
‘my father
hasn’t yet’
but it’s not that simple and
age has taught me that, experience
shows me
the truth. Or some shade of it.
Some hue that tells me, ‘no
this is not’ ‘no
this can not’
‘no, it never has’
but it’s still a dull gnawing,
this pain, static of it-- might i
be growing,
still? stretching my bones
into possibility

[Thanks to Thomasin for sharing these poems with us.]

No comments: