02 June 2004

To balance out my blanket statement that most poetry is shit I thought I'd post something by poet Julia Darling, who is actually pretty good, and whose site I just found linked from The Poetry Whore.

Too Heavy

Dear Doctor,
I am writing to complain about these words
you have given me, that I carry in my bag
lymphatic, nodal, progressive, metastatic
They must be made of lead. I haul them everywhere.
I've cricked my neck, I'm bent
with the weight of them
palliative, metabolic, recurrent
and when I get them out and put them on the table
they tick like bombs and overpower my own
sweet tasting words
orange, bus, coffee, June
I've been leaving them
crumpled up in pedal bins
where they fester and complain.
diamorphine, biopsy, inflammatory
and then you say
Where are your words Mrs Patient?
What have you done with your words?

Or worse, you give me that dewy look
Poor Mrs Patient has lost all her words, but shush,
don't upset her. I've got spares in the files.
Thank god for files!

So I was wondering,
Dear Doctor, if I could have
a locker
my own locker
with a key.
I could collect them
one at a time,
and lay them on a plate

morphine-based, diagnostically,

with a garnish of
lollypop, monkey, lip