Lisa Kelly

the poet

Lisa Kelly has single-sided deafness. She is also half Danish. Her first collection, A Map Towards Fluency, was published by Carcanet in 2019. Her poems have appeared in Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back (Nine Arches Press) and Carcanet’s New Poetries VII. Her pamphlets are Philip Levine’s Good Ear (Stonewood Press) and Bloodhound (Hearing Eye). She sometimes hosts poetry evenings at the Torriano Meeting House in London, and is the Chair of Magma Poetry.

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the poems

from The IKEA Back Catalogue

Delivery to ASPELUND

00:00 / 00:58

Don’t lose your way in the snow to ASPELUND
like being trapped in a white wardrobe,
ARVINN. Arrive intact at this Norwegian Arctic city,

reveal yourself, like a folding chair, to the city.
Hey presto! Like magic, you appear in ASPELUND
no longer up against the wall. Out of the wardrobe,

ARVINN, you can shrug off the ward robe
of white, which gapes like the wide roads of this city,
and take up space. ARVINN, this city is not ASPELUND,

ASPELUND is a stub, as a toe strikes against a wardrobe in a city.

Aphid Reproduction

as Unpunctuated White Noise

00:00 / 01:22

.

 

a full stop is an aphid not a comma nor an embryo

an aphid is a full stop is a nymph not a womb holding

a comma nor a question mark asks nothing of a slash

or a backslash bulges with parentheses bears

afterthought after afterthought as a full stop

parthenogenetic filled with full stops without

stopping without comma without pausing full stop

after full stop never comma not a comma until 

all the space is taken with full stop upon full stop

not a comma and a full stop develops wings flies off

 

!

 

an exclamation mark is an aphid on the wing not a

full stop not a comma nor an embryo an aphid is 

an exclamation mark not a womb holding a comma

nor a question mark asks nothing of a slash or a

backslash bulges with parentheses bears afterthought

after afterthought as a full stop parthenogenetic

not an exclamation mark not a comma but a full stop

filled with exclamation marks filled with full stops

bears exclamation marks filled with full stops

until summer heat has happened and love is in the air

 

.

 

an aphid is a male on the wing not a full stop

is an exclamation mark and an aphid is a female

on the wing not a full stop is an exclamation mark

gives birth to a full stop without wings mates

with an exclamation mark and lays a full stop

a full stop is an egg not an aphid but an egg

and the egg it is dormant is a full stop not a pause

not a comma nor an embryo but a full stop in the winter

without wings an egg is a full stop until spring

and it hatches a full stop is an aphid not a full stop

Sea Wall

00:00 / 01:20

The sea is maddening, cannot be calmed.

I have tried throwing life buoys, rafts,

all manner of rope. Once I crushed

sleeping pills and slipped them overboard,

but it cried for more salt.

 

I have to build a wall to save the sea from itself –

constantly crashing, destroying castles,

leaking into the land, festering in pools

of its own brine. Loss of sediment and sense.

I have to hold the line.

 

Others argue about options. Option one,

do nothing. Option two, rock groynes

and beach recharge. Option three, fishtail

rock groynes, rock revetment and beach recharge.

Once a wall is in mind, it must be built.

 

Norwegian rock is best, cut from mountains

with diamond saws, never blasted.

It is cut strong in strong blocks.

The wall is on its way from the Larvik Quarry.

The sea knows what to expect.

Publishing credits

Delivery to ASPELUND: Anthropocene

Sea Wall: The New European

Aphid Reproduction as Unpunctuated White Noise:

  A Map Toward Fluency (Carcanet)

© original authors 2020

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