Jul/Aug 2003 Poetry

Three Poems

by Rob Yeatman


Feng shui for pickpockets

          Wherever I am
          I am what is missing

          —Mark Strand, Keeping Things Whole

In the careering balances
of a large city,
the tacit snap of a slim

packet of air often passes
unattended; a small chaos
flipping quickly to uncertain

repose. A vehicle moves and
sets into place a million
somersaulting holocausts.


Rook free

in memory of Ian Curtis (1956 - 1980)

This closed room spins
with sparrows and finches swarming
the quick walls. The place is rapt
with the thrashing of song and the tracks
lapsing circles like vinyl.

But a single bird, the blood
of the space, measures the floor out;
rook steps tick the wood black.
In time, he cracks a line
to the inch high skylight

and the life bursts out; spilt tape
on stony ground.


Hymn to the Hammond

Flipped on, sparked up
and glittering electricity
skitters the wire clutch dust
to the deck.

But throw a thumb down
the hundred odd bones,
jump down the galleries,
floor one chord

and the particles leap,
fast to the grid, meshed
in the scream as the fuses
click, crack and blow.


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