Monday 23 June 2014

Kei Miller's The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion (Carcanet, 2014)

I don't think these passages can demonstrate how strong this book is, but here's a taste nonetheless:

Allow your knees
and then your forehead an intimacy
with stone; know your ground.


this kneeling crowd--the tarmac
soft against the substance of its faith.

from "Groundation"

And foot
by weary foot, they found a rhythm
the measure that exists in everything.

from "Establishing the Metre"

...maps which throughout time have gripped like girdles
to make his people smaller than they were.


And how much life is land to which
we have no access? How much
have we not seen or felt or heard
because there was no word 
for it--at least no word we knew?
We speak to navigate ourselves
away from dark corners and we become,
each one of us, cartographers.

from the title poem

...nights are loud
with the shrugs of lizards.

end of "For the Croaking Lizards" will discover that when victims live long enough they get their say in history....

from "Place Name: Shotover"

And at night there is almost nothing between
The things we say, and the things we mean.

end of "Distance"


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