No 15 - September 2001
Climbing out of the spot on the wall
(Based on extracts from ‘Somebody Somewhere’ by Donna Williams - breaking free from the world of Autism)
I feel smug.
Without communication I cam enter a house;
know them through their things and the feel of the place
and leave without them knowing that I have a better sense of them
than ten years blah-blah-blah can achieve.
I feel smug in my ability to know people without them
knowing me I am knowing them (and often I know without
knowing I am knowing) except that when I’m in the home
of someone I need to communicate with, how can I
be free to know them through their things and their place
when they’ll see this as a way of getting to know me.
The house echoes with a hollow woody sound;
the smell of dust, old fabric, cats and roses.
Lead light windows ask me to touch their sunlit colours.
Wallpaper draws me into its endless patterns.
Pictures with deep backgrounds take me into their depths.
Beaded curtains dare me to touch their sound.
Shells with mother-of-pearl beg to be picked up
so that I can swim in their rainbows.
In the kitchen, fluorescent light bounces off yellow walls,
bounces off shiny objects like sunshine on water.
I turn up my volume, my brightness control.
Syllables melt together as I say hello to someone.
I say yes several times. Cups of tea; no connection
between their arrival and the yes that brings them.
Black tea, no milk, no sugar.
Pavlov and Skinner would love me now.
I listen until the meaning drops out of conversation,
floats like wispy clouds just beyond my consciousness.
Blah-blah-blah. The carpet has disordered patterns of fluff;
the papers on the table need tidying;
the grain in the wood-panelling is not symmetrical;
there is a sock under the couch.
I sit in time and space and inclination; stay intact
with no connection to the visual images or words.
Smug drifts by like a cloud, slips through my fingers
before I can speak it - what does smug mean?
- 10th Muse
- Angel Exhaust
- Blithe Spirit
- Brando's hat
- Brittle Star
- Cannon's Mouth, The
- Coffee House, The
- Dream Catcher
- Floating Bear, The
- French Literary Review, The
- Frogmore Papers, The
- Global Tapestry
- Grosseteste Review
- Homeless Diamonds
- Interpreter's House, The
- Journal, The
- Lamport Court
- London Magazine, The
- Modern Poetry in Translation
- Monkey Kettle
- Neon Highway
- New Welsh Review
- North, The
- Obsessed with pipework
- Oxford Poetry
- Painted, spoken
- Paper, The
- Pen Pusher Magazine
- Poetry Cornwall
- Poetry London
- Poetry London (1951)
- Poetry Nation
- Poetry Review, The
- Poetry Salzburg Review
- Poetry Scotland
- Poetry Wales
- Private Tutor
- Purple Patch
- Rain Dog
- Reach Poetry
- Review, The
- Rialto, The
- Second Aeon
- Seventh Quarry, The
- Smiths Knoll
- Strange Faeces
- Tabla Book of New Verse, The
- Tolling Elves
- Ugly Tree, The
- Wolf, The
- Yellow Crane, The