Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

BooksOctober 18, 2019

The Friday Poem: ‘modernity to globalisation’ by Lily Holloway

Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

A new poem by Auckland poet Lily Holloway.

modernity to globalisation

when I get there as still life and landscape and also portraiture

seeking the cacti in small pots who dot the globe

slices of pie offer up the vision after the sermon

expressing emotions without coherent narrative support

because no artist responded to this call

employing looser brushwork hitching up skirts and such

their immediate successors leaving loose cutlery

at the bottom of handbags of expanding lungs

mimesis the technical keystone of forgetting slices of the years

evergreens dancing waves follow arched trajectories of homemade bath bombs stadiums chanting god bless this temporal vector

stylised lungs get wednesday standards

and skirts construct trajectories


trading in values I cut my hand on that sharp thing

applied pressure embodied it in art wrapped it in a tablecloth

opened it and released doves confetti a fresh breeze locusts flipping pages

jumping puddles these kinds of things added up

a ridiculed subculture standing in line at the supermarket

between them the so-called modernist toddler marathon

such illustrators also played badminton on wednesdays

after folding the figures of doves ineluctable loose

never creased before it was the final years of the july monarchy

not that they all lived in paris gumboots scuffing

a small dog walking herself noticed the characteristic sheen of such things

released the never expanding confetti gumboots

powerfully aware of the eyes of olympia dancing


in manet’s wake fish heads peer above the water

the flat shelf a mass of light and dark

eclipsing profound ramifications on rounded edges folding

clothing quite stylised figures of evergreens an almost magical

degree of illusionism tripping on pavement cracks

walking prints dark herself spilling sheen whispering into fish

saluting the sun in unprecedented degrees of salinity

book clubs spilling beetroot futile search for neutrality

the combination of classicism and missing the bus

strict standards of finish whisper sweet breathings

japanese prints fall into ear holes while we sleep sideways

sleep cut between tablecloth and the hand on the pavement

constructing an imaginary end to expiration

The Spinoff Review of Books is proudly brought to you by Unity Books, recently named 2020 International Book Store of the Year, London Book Fair, and Creative New Zealand. Visit Unity Books Wellington or Unity Books Auckland online stores today. 

Mad Chapman, Editor
The Spinoff has covered the news that matters in 2021, most recently the delta outbreak. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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