Glasgow autumn was. Always.
My uncle’s wood bare floors and pale
vases green. A child’s upright
piano bust, his mother done by.
Another clay beside figure
it (androgynous. Perhaps
My uncle’s own and bedroom aunt
and my guest mother a room.
The crib child’s room
shared and I.
Long uncle-legged, a teacher
lean artist. Dull breaking
plaster wall-space (grey between
hung painting one his.
A man) chair sitting
blue, head propped hand.
Glasgow flew to we,
my I mother. Clouds close
hovered, tails by wisping
patch spectral. My stuck suction
face a cup to small glass
window fish bowl. Ocean I
below could. Vast.
And distant. Unreal and.
Apple child-cheeked (and ringlet
mopped inky. He) naked
cold flat white. Pitched yowl
high the corner every piercing.
Dance ritual or an absurd.
Music machine strained cheap, dappled he
and scratchy, in one round
place turning. (And round.
Expressionless. A between)
cross music. Holy box shaman and.
Mother my child aunt, great
Usually hair brown covered
straight. A kerchief by and. Stray
or two the strand
Threads: escaping light.
Father off airport saw us.
A lounge was chair arms
and couches with. And sand
standing ashtrays filled
with. Crushed sprouting
cacti butts in well
desert-spaced. Huge were runway
seen windows through (which.
My I mother) as walked
with across. People glass
airplanes behind the watching.
The land and the take
off. One father of my.
Early uncle’s flat I would room
mornings creep mother’s in
my. Half floor darkness sighed
boards heavy weight under my.
Snickering door her: opening
hinges of. Rolling bed’s
bundled body the topography
my I mother’s outline against
curled the cold. Whispering
slipped not to wake
so as covers her under.
Formed air lips like words
frost a winter in.
Waited. And. Movement for a.
Murmur, half her
eyes opening dark.
And distant. Unreal shuddered
body her tighter
and hugged herself she.
Stuttering throat her
rattled like. Engine.
Coughing raw (fits
into of. Growing.
Museum a Glasgow in. There was.
There a boy my was friend.
Two older years was
than he I. High we hollow
and corridors. The whale
of inside a. Tools
of (and exhibit weapons
swallowed. History). Whole.
And room then
there the. Was. Dinosaurs.
Repetition skeletons; a bone
reconstructed of. Room the pointing.
Blanks. The fill in.
Curve to run each hand my along
bump, each… still to search sleeping out
the marrow, unearthed even
after have the bones been.
White I night that as
bone lay my bed in.
A moon under.
Past the morning and in crept
the I breathing
child’s crib. Books piano
past and, the parroting. Blue silence
(phonograph. My room’s
mother) crept toward.
Open finding. Door,
the and flat bed smooth.
Uncle my beside was
me standing his. Red. Eyes drawn
face his. Hair. My long
touched fingers (gentle.
Telepathy) some if
impart could they, by.
What me. To tell. He had.
ABOUT THE POET
Steven Mayoff was born and raised in Montreal, later on lived in Toronto and moved to the bucolic splendor of Prince Edward Island, Canada in 2001. His fiction and poetry have appeared in literary journals across Canada and the U.S. as well as in Ireland, Algeria, France, Wales and Croatia. He published two books of fiction: the story collection Fatted Calf Blues (Turnstone Press, 2009), which won a PEI Book Award, and the novel Our Lady Of Steerage (Bunim & Bannigan, 2015). Upcoming is a poetry collection Swinging Between Water And Stone to be published by Guernica Editions in 2019.
Find out more about Steven Mayoff on his website.
Feature image © Rebecca Chitticks, 2016
beige and blue
the beak of a bird
in the belly of the Indian ocean
the tides are calm today.
waves form foam and sounds
white material residues
the clasp oncoming
sharp memory folds
in the old.
a feather is left in the sand
eternal skeletons of mollusks
seashells, full of calcium carbonate
the mineral of waters.
flashing around the pulse
fine footprints filled with reverberations
of positioning a person
under the rubric
of a sphere
and a double-headed
dragon with fire in
falls into a pit
and tugs at its black hair
and the whiteness of shame
within the underbelly
of emphatic resounding
There was a crumpled paper which lay
on the table with a dark wood finish
(Made from the bark of a rosewood tree).
"What are you thinking?"
"There is a lunch get together this Sunday."
Something the lack of an answer explained.
The synthetic perfume perforated the room.
"Did you hear her husband just lost his job?"
"My neighbors cat ran away somewhere."
"This pearl necklace is of freshwater pearls."
"The rain always spoils my silken dress."
(By now, Romeo stood beneath Juliet's balcony.)
"Are you reading Shakespeare again?" Quietude
pervaded and I continued reading in a corner.
Guests came and went through the narrow
passages flippantly, asking questions and not
waiting for answers. (As though their questions
were asked for the sake of questions being asked;
for no answer.) Under artificial lighting, the moths
played. "Hurry up, don't you want to be among the
first in line for the buffet?". They lined up like a string
of ants around a giant anthill.
"They made an April fool's joke and he was fooled."
"That chap would not know of forced rudeness."
"The entire office was laughing about his - O salad."
"Iceberg lettuce leaves and tomatoes again."
"I had told her to keep the romaine and butterhead."
"The cutlets have less crunch and the ketchup is soggy."
"This chocolate soufflé has saved the show."
The sounds and fury that passed lingered in the banquet hall.
"Are you still taking those birth control pills?"
"Did you see he has purchased a new automobile?"
"Automated brakes". The grin on their faces increased.
(The sounds of horns increased as the cars lined, one
by one.) I was among forks and spoons and silvery plates
alone against the entire crowd pressed together. "Are you
still reading Romeo and Juliet?" (They had both died by then.)
The night bed had red sails and I walked in the company
of a solitary lane, the south-west wind and tall trees.
ABOUT THE POET
'Sneha Subramanian Kanta finds credence in non-linear forms of looking. Avant-garde art, untold stories and tales of refugees are matters close to her heart. Her work is forthcoming in Fallujah Magazine, ZOOPOETICS, Serendipity, Erstwhile Magazine and the first print anthology of Peacock Journal and elsewhere. She is a GREAT scholarship awardee, pursuing her second postgraduate degree in literature in the United Kingdom. She believes in forms of dissents and uprisings, renaissance, handwritten letters and the word et cetera.'
Ambulances roam the roads in anticipation of random shootings. Yeah, every day. Many of us can’t believe we’re still alive. Run Hide Fight. It’s an intricate dance. You don’t want to fuck it up.
The crime tip hotline rings continuously. “Who’s the bad man?” the police operator asks. “What’s he look like?” He looks a little like one of the Twelve Apostles, the tallish one with dyed blond hair. The police may not catch him. He could still be here months from now, whispering to women on the street, “Your egg, my semen, we change the world.”
Is it evening? The weekend? Another time when few people are around? I take a walk on the Boardwalk. A woman has strategically placed herself under one of the infrequent streetlights. “Tear here,” she says with a wink. I didn’t actually go to art school. So, to me, this is art school.