mirror, mirror

they’re sending me away to the edge thinking something will be learnt        but the mind is unyielding     a
locked door to the kingdom of attention        there’s little to cling to                        I long for long grass    open
hiding ground not desks chairs breeze block walls painted future grey fuzz not the smell of brain cells storming
triggers for panic
                                   me, the emperor naked at the thin end of the edge wondering what next                 what
                                   next has been explained and I should know    everyone knows        but that door is bolted
                                   too       wood is stubborn once it’s chopped    forgets its purpose      instruction with its
                                   iron fists keeps knocking but the logic of simple sequences is untranslatable
                                                           I’m already tripping before the litany begins
e) finally          c) and when that’s done                    j) an echo         b) Firstly          d) the aim       a) next (surely
not again)        e) thirdly, but before you do that
pretending i don’t really want to scream                    my teeth sink into my jaw      fun is the first and last hurdle
the zebra on my t-shirt will hide my terror                 distract someone         and my skin will temper the tension
of every muscle                      no one will know I’m not all here weird behind these stripes            some of me
the bit no one sees spiralling into a crater      I follow                      keep falling       my face grows flatter  there’s
despair carved down my cheek          loser tattooed on the insides of my eyelids

all wrapped in pjs      we are as if strapped
to ourselves camouflaged not daring to breathe
among seventies fibres                    carpet that looked
insensitive      felt like grass but was not
harbouring battles up up the steps to where
secretly the children -us- struggle for sound for a glimpse
through the banisters of adults perfumed
at the front door being led     following
bleating into the dining room

                                    evenings of polite
politicking over pork   apple sauce was glamorous then
a glimpse not of the adults but us        futuro-fat
guests in our own fiction wondering
            who/what are you or will you be?
pink rinse with long cigar        fossilized codger
saying the child is impish seen AND heard
            not silenced like now adult falling off
the leg of the spider diagram into inequities
insolvencies     sludgemire unsolved erasing the innocence
on those faces that were us peeking from quicksand
                                   before the sandman
what did we expect                no         really



year’s end and we’ve all grown
thin       dodging gloss in the streets
             and you choose your path guided only
by the dry patch
             the way you chose your toys once
                                                 by quirk

ahead of you is the splash you tried so hard
to avoid           a slough of limited responses
someone shouts your name
but you’ve no idea what to say                       it’s probably
            not even you    your tongue
keeps chaffing off chipped teeth          pearls
                                    in need of tracks

                      comfort is a thing
of the past      to behold           forget perhaps
now all you ask is a shelf to curl up on            the offer
                                                            of closure
                    or a kick-start buttons to press so at least
your fingers are employed
(the 3 poems above are from a forthcoming collaboration called JAM, with Jennifer Matthews, to be published by Seven Towers, Winter 2013)

I sharpen the pencil because I’m blind
its mark travels                         places invent themselves
            as they encounter lead
a shard             a spire             Calatrava’s eye
and the page begins its search
                         in the tangle of sound
                         in pools where your deeper half
            can drown

the old words strut past                         poodles
on the promenade unrecognisable with their nose
dialling the sun                       they’ve forgotten
what words can be now that they live on a leash
in fossil homes                        glass cased
           surrounded by rewards
I drill the page obsess unschooled
like a dung-fly on steak before it crash-lands
on the window ledge   thud buzz        buzz
            morse for drunken blood vessels

it’s the out-of-focus fuzz that’s
                                   unsharpening my revisions


ακούρδιστο ρολόι

I am the clock that ticks                      ying-yang
myxolidian      phrygian

an innocence that allows
all shades of syllables

even monochrome     just about
the way you tolerate salamanders
living behind your bed

when I was a child time would come off
in your hand    if you tried to catch hold of it

i still have the seconds dangling
from my fingers                      their tenderness
rolling down my face



down on the beach you can catch severe antioceansanditis   just like that
            it happens when you play frisbie and the discus hovers over your craft       out of reach and you have to
swelter skelter several meters after it that’s when the hot coals begin
in a moment of apathy a discarded banana skin is too much you become a slippery slop melancoholic
fevriolic                      seagulls start to drill your mind hi-ho hi-ho rioting as they go           babies make you froth
at the mouth               flies blaze        your eyes scroll back
you are consumed by the pram no one gave you for Christmas and the exam you flunked and how long it was
since your last orgasm while the women next door upstairs across the street reset your clock for 5 a.m. day in
day out and in and out and the valley of tears is real
on the periphery of your love lose their shape just as the higgs boson is found         higgs himself appears on the
front page of the newspaper    indistinguishable from the man beside him as they trudge formless lowrie lamdas
through the melting icecaps of your consciousness
you become dyslexic dystonic dyspraxic distrustful discover you’re predictable and this is nearly worse
consider arson             wish for the world to upend
a guitar hums rock and raves in a closet                    hidden from fingers that must never distract it
             cause for more weeping        cause for full moon
you beat yourself up for the waste and the want                   the wind          pick fights on parallel universes   aim
to never come back till something is done about the slaughter of innocents             the smell of fish in the fridge
                        it has to end somewhere
(both of the poems with Greek titles are from a different collaborate collection, still untitled, with Nina Karacosta, to be published by corrupt press in 2014)

Anamaría Crowe Serrano

Anamaría Crowe Serrano lives in Dublin where she works a poet, literary translator from Italian and Spanish, and teacher of Spanish language. She has published Femispheres (Shearsman, UK, 2008); a chapbook called one columbus leap (corrupt press, Paris, 2011); Mirabile Dictu (blurb, 2011), a poetry-art collaboration with artist Jordi Forniés; and is currently working on two further collaborations.

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