JUNK

October 23, 2019

This is a graveyard for broken things.

Scratched-up cassette tapes and punctured tyres and dulled rainbow shards of stained glass from moss-covered God-forsaken cathedrals;
Unspooled rusted wire and torn cotton quilts from empty cribs and seared flea-ridden fabric-shrouded seats out of burnt-up worn-down trucks;
Ivy-blanketed Ferris wheels and dust-claimed sepia photographs or long-dead men, and cracked-skull faded-paisley-wearing one-legged china dolls left behind from picnics in the grass of the banks downstream.

Eerie nostalgia and weather-beaten fragments of days gone by are not shadowed by polished new primary-coloured cars or drowned out by laughing children’s shiny echoing bicycle bells in this place.

It is quiet here.

Rae O’Dowd

the Fairy of Dreams

September 30, 2019

The wall is silence, the grass is sleep,
Tall trees of peace their vigil keep,
And the Fairy of Dreams with moth-wings furled
Plays soft on her flute to the drowsy world.

Ida Rentoul Outhwaite

sweetest moments

September 21, 2019

We knew sex in the sweetest moments and in the harshest moments too. We pressed our bodies together. We peeled them apart. We exchanged our skins. We talked a little then fell silent.

Nizar Qabbani
Attempt to Assassinate a Love Affair
Trans.Paul Weinfield

Horror

September 12, 2019

Horror cannot be spoken because it is alive; because it is silent and is going forward; it drips into the day and it drips into sleep.
Sorrow-recalling pain.

George Seferis
Last Stop
trans. Rex Warner

Are You Hot for Me Yet

August 22, 2019

If you’re not on my hitlist you can go and find another murderer or just fuck off.
Jesus Christ, have you even read Sylvia Plath? We have literally nothing in common.
I pissed about over the ad all day and in the end settled for the tagline ‘terminally bored MILF
likes wrestling, hates love, needs a drug induced coma – apply within.’

Seriously, I wouldn’t fuck with me if I were the last poet on earth and God knows I’m not.
How vulnerable are you on a scale of one to ten? Ten being walks around city centres
with barely anything on and a little-girl pout looking to score coke and one being lives in a self-imposed
regime of silence in a vaulted room? I die every day to save you from seeing me.

Do you like smashing things and breaking things? I don’t need or want permission.
I only get off on causing the maximum amount of damage before the eyes of God.
You need to separate the sex from the poetry – just because you didn’t like how I blew you
doesn’t mean you can play about with my grammatical idiosyncrasies. So get this straight:

I don’t care about your complexities, right? If I take you out of context I want to know
you’ll blend in with the landscape. How regularly do you wear cocktail dresses? Do you know
how to create a convincing persona? We all want to live in a hotel dearie but can you infiltrate
the lives of others successfully? Oh God, you’re a writer? Oh well then, I guess that’s a no.

Melissa Lee-Houghton

Coins for a Funeral

August 17, 2019

a new zephyr
breathing fire upon lilies until they melt
waxed by a violence for fast paced consideration
falling as pearls back to the seabed
invisible now, as once I was
strewn in savage arms for slaughter
a silver piece in my mouth
hard to bite, sucking on metal
worth less than me, more than life
blooming on the cusp of circular bonfires
lighting the skies with sordid memory
hands pulling me under water
where static weeds grow lithe fingers
entering me in green vision
letting go of the borders and they blurred
like glasses crushed into diamonds
where the moon winks heavily at transgression
and joins the circles compounding begotten earth
do the leaves that unfurl like dancers
know the name of silence’s child as well?
silence that hangs in arabesque
painted stiff and yoked
my dress a bloody reminder
of all things spilt
all things best remedied
beneath this buried attempt.

Candice Daquin

Silence

July 27, 2019

Only humans recognize silence. For all the other creatures, the world is never silent and even the grass growing and the petals opening make a huge noise. In the bush, the animals live by listening. That’s what my father envied at that moment: He wished he were an animal. And far from human beings, to be able to return to his lair and sleep without pity or guilt.

Mia Couto
Confession of the Lioness

four or five lines

May 21, 2019

I do find it harder to write now than before, both novels and journalism. When I worked for newspapers, I wasn’t very conscious of every word I wrote, whereas now I am. When I was working for El Espectador in Bogotá, I used to do at least three stories a week, two or three editorial notes every day, and I did movie reviews. Then at night, after everyone had gone home,  I would stay behind writing my novels.  I liked the noise of the Linotype machines, which sounded like rain. If they stopped, and I was left in silence, I wouldn’t be able to work. Now, the output is comparatively small. On a good working day, working from nine o’clock in the morning to two or three in the afternoon, the most I can write is a short paragraph of four or five lines, which I usually tear up the next day.

Gabriel García Márquez
Interviewed by Peter H. Stone
Paris Review Winter 1981

keepers of the unsayable

March 31, 2019

If poets are the keepers of the unsayable, then silence, not language, is a poet’s natural element, the realm where the unsayable lives. Poets fetishize silence as much as words; they are disturbed and comforted by the sounds that interrupt it. This is what John Keats means by Negative Capability, his notion of a poet’s basic qualification, the need for ‘being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason.’ This a fancy way of describing ambivalence, also a basic qualification for a poet, the ability to passionately hold two opposing feelings at once. Poets need ambivalence in order to acknowledge the unsayable and speak nonetheless. The hidden subject of all poems is the silence that surrounds them, the things that can’t be, that will never be said; a real poem points to everything beyond it.

Craig Morgan Teicher
Ars Poetica: Origin Stories

I want a poetry of knowledge and of thought, not of opinion – and not of belief, which is merely dead thought. Poetry is the musical density of being,  but sometimes it is silent, and sometimes that silence is musically still.

Robert Bringhurst
Pieces of Map, Pieces of Music