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The Friday Poem: A poem from ‘Thirty-Three Transformations on a Theme of Philip’ by Anne Kennedy

A poem by Ockham finalist Anne Kennedy.

 

from ‘Thirty-Three Transformations on a Theme of Philip’

 

32

 

The present pulls the plug on the present moment by moment

Hands fly to the black tiles like pigeons to a rooftop

The objects in the room join a passing train

The thoughts in the room climb aboard a train

The temperature is high and low and indifferent

Temuera and Eileen! I’m with you on the internet

The hottest January drips like a water sculpture

Brass is green and grass is brown

The coldest July is through a shattered windscreen

Meteorologists and the homeless give a fuck

A woman feeds cats on the galeforce corner

I’m with you on the internet

A satellite like a god indicates your whereabouts

Sadness rises like silt after an earthquake

How fucked it was before civil rights

Happiness struggles out from your outrage

Pretty weeds bust over the plastic roof

You want greenness but hate gardening

I’m with you on the internet

 

A bedroom is like a jar for an insect

Through the curtain light grows and dies

Light runs up a beach and recedes

The things in your room are on or off like settings

I wish your lot were running everything

I am with you in spirit

I’m with you on the internet

The house is dissolved like a sixteenth-century monastery

Where you laid down your head is thin air

Where the dog ran in a figure eight is air

On the street is wilderness and newness

The movers know us better than we know ourselves

The theme has ceased to reign over its unruly offspring

Look through your sunset hair at the remains

I’m with you on the internet

 

The air is bright from the invisible ocean

The sea is behind a wall of corporations

What you can’t see you must imagine

What you can see you cannot imagine

People look into the next moment like a pool

You are a citizen of the Pacific but it’s complicated

During childbirth I sang om to relieve pain

A song is a pathway to the sea

A song is an internet between people

I’m with you on the internet

Nothing can shock you anymore nothing

There’s a numbness in the hands and feet

An enormous message to very few people

Meaningless words for the whole of humanity

This is probably the crescendo of the world

The thing you don’t want to do is wonderful

The thing you don’t want to do is so bright

The thing you don’t want to do is what you have been waiting for

I’m with you on the internet

I will meet you at the house in the days of recollection

I will meet you where you laid your head as a baby

I will meet you where we have imagined we will meet

 

 


‘Thirty-Three Transformations on a Theme of Philip’ appears in Moth Hour by Anne Kennedy (Auckland University Press, 2019), shortlisted for the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry at the 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. Winners are announced Tuesday, May 12.

The Friday Poem is edited by Ashleigh Young. Submissions for The Friday Poem are currently closed and will reopen in May 2020.



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