Wednesday 22 April 2015

Nicholas Laughlin's The Strange Years of My Life (Peepal Tree Press, 2015)

One whole (short!) poem and then some passages I enjoyed from this first book:


Plant these seeds so you can tend a forest
so you can long for a stranger to feed the wild birds.


What starts in the tepidarium
will end in my memoirs.

the opening lines of "Sub Rosa"

My traitors were my lovers.
I was the Aztec kid.
I was the night captain on the S.S. Escape,
here today, French tomorrow.

the opening stanza of "My Traitors"

Rain, so I remember rain,
like a new history for a conquered kingdom.

opening lines of "Rain"

I discover I have a Russian heart.
I discover I am a small boy with a heart full of stones,
a bag of stones.

opening lines of "I Discover I Am Russian"

A flower named for a bird.
A bird swooping like rain.
Rain the size of an island.
An island creased like my hand.
My hand hot as my tongue.
My tongue new as a flower.

opening stanza of "Clues" heart is a falling bird
tumbling in air,
and my lungs like two stones
have sunk to the tide,
and like a leaf dropped eight days dry,
I rust, I fold.

from "After Eight Days"

I am becoming thirty-two years old.
Nice to, at last, be strange.

from "I Think I Am Becoming Myself"

Flowers: so their lips, their nacred
auricles, their burning finger-
tips: they show us first how flesh
is holy incandescence....

opening of "Bodies of the Saints"

My nettle tongue prickled with a pledge.

from "My Prey, My Twin"

You can learn more about the author from Vahni Capildeo's enthusiastic article here.  You can purchase The Strange Years of My Life directly from the publisher here.

No comments:

Post a Comment