Friday 24 June 2011

Lytton Smith's The All-Purpose Magical Tent, first selection

"Structural for the Tent"

Mainstay. Ringside. Acts. The audience is meant

To believe in the tent even when they pass on

And it’s dismantled—apparition. “The night sky

Was in there. The full moon. The clowns wore

The gravediggers’ smiles.” Circular and itself

In a field. The events transpiring within an illusion

The performers and watchers aspire to maintain.

“The lions I think Africa. The trapeze intercontinental.

We were magicked away.” But there’s nothing magical

About the magical. The audience invents a moment

The disappeared reappear. Any moment now. Now.

Now. I’ve watched the sleight-of-hand from the gods

And found it wanting—each act I can’t take back.

Lytton Smith

The All-Purpose Magical Tent (Nightboat Books, 2009) is available from The Book Depository with free shipping internationally. NB the double-spacing of the poem is accurate.

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