The Friday Poem: ‘Yes or No’ by Steven Toussaint

New poetry by Auckland writer Steven Toussaint.

 

Yes or No

 

Are you happy

with your service

 

provider?

 

Have you contemplated

private

 

piety’s

competitive prices?

 

Are you in the market

for something like

 

but not precisely

eternal return?

 

Have you been waiting long

in our baffled room?

 

 

Did you retain

a trace

 

of transmigration

somewhere like a scar

 

inside your

photographic

 

memoir?

 

Do you think birds feel

the seism?

 

 

Are you reading enough

of the novel

 

grovelling,

the genuine

 

genuphobia,

our nationwide

 

aversion

to kneeling?

 

 

Are you still listening

 

to poets

who listened

 

to Coltrane

 

laugh and framed

vocations around that

 

brazen ascesis?

 

 

Is there someone

in your family

 

we can call

to drive you home,

 

a flyover town

 

waiting around

for potable

 

blood to flow,

for prescription

 

prices to drop on

crushed up rocks

 

from the moon?

 

 

Are you watching

not a little

 

terrified

as advertising

 

bromides

slowly embalm

 

the once

in a century mind

 

of your favourite

Thomist

 

on Twitter?

 

 

Can you hear

the siren

 

everything we ask you

feeds

 

flatter you now

 

beneath the waves

of what we need

 

to tell you?

Are you

 

sitting down?

 

 

Steven Toussaint, 2018


The Spinoff Review of Books is proudly brought to you by Unity Books.


The Bulletin is The Spinoff’s acclaimed, free daily curated digest of all the most important stories from around New Zealand delivered directly to your inbox each morning.

Sign up now


Related:


The Spinoff is made possible by the generous support of the following organisations.
Please help us by supporting them.