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.
from The IKEA Back Catalogue
Delivery to ASPELUND
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.
as Unpunctuated White Noise
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
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.
Delivery to ASPELUND: Anthropocene
Sea Wall: The New European
Aphid Reproduction as Unpunctuated White Noise:
A Map Toward Fluency (Carcanet)