Thursday, 18 June 2015

Daniel Sluman's Absence has a weight of its own (Nine Arches, 2012)

Some favourite passages:

                   When you wake

to find a tube hanging from your chest
your ears will swarm with bees,

the doctor will catch you

just before you hit the tiles.


                              The tumour on the x-ray

tells you life is a fistful of cobwebs.

from "Letter"

I have adored your ankles,
snaffled the fine hairs that crisp
the small of your back,
& now, after I've licked

the soap-traces from the underside
of your knees, we find ourselves
stalled in the marriage bed;
your maiden name

a peppercorn crushed
in my mouth.

from "After the Wedding"

                                                                       I think 
of you, sealing yourself in a lead coffin where

the faces of the men you shot burst like poppy seeds.

end of "Your Limp Breath Slides off the Hospital Walls"

& the shadows we nailed
the floor
start to stir. 

end of "Snow/Swinging #2"

You stare until the letters tremble
like needles on a pine tree.

opening lines of "Ambition & the Individual Talent"

I have pulled apart
the machinery of that night

for the last ten years....

from "Scenes from a Film"

We'll return where we left, forgetting

when we started; each breath
binding us tighter to the past.

end of "When Our Pupils Swallowed the Irises Black"

                  You could tighten

this world in inky loops,

tourniquet this moment
before it bleeds out.

end of "When Lightning Switchblades"

I'm aware of my breath--the push & pull

of this fine wire....


When the doctor brought in my scan
my liver had bloomed a Rorschach test,

& we all stared, seeing only one thing.

from "My Death"

The last time we spoke

I was smearing the red flag
of myself around the tub....


                      God sees me

as a tiny pink coffin, wandering

from place to place, waiting
to fall into the open earth.

beginning and ending of "Dear Samaritans,
I'm Writing This to Let  You Know Everything's Okay Now"

Last night can't escape your kitchen....

from "The Aftermath"

Violins eased from speakers 
& hovered around our gestures

as a whole summer bled into that night,
a shoddy polaroid.

opening of "Kiss"

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