Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dole Day

by Séamas Carraher

Butchered and emptied of closeness
as we are,
the breath holds.
There is no need to abstract it
as claw and fur,
to move it, shuddering, into the
cold and damp of January.

As gutted and absent of closeness
as we are, enough is enough.
Shit! Even now
the day drizzles.

Here is a small place democratically,
already this diminished.
We are small:
administered, theoretically, surgically,
in proportion to our scarcity.
In this way the landlord calls.

We are small, common!
Existing like a sack
without brain or body
heroic entity without sustenance
neither more nor less, with a name,
a roof without walls,
hurrying like a registration
to a belief with no beginning.

This then in our most grudging existence
this is our pittance,
this hole is our love,
our mouths here is mined like a battle.
This is that dumbness torn skin from skin.
Her articulation, my heart,
is more like a puncture


This then like any holiday,
any mass to move in our bulk,
short of feet, short of breath.
Its brevity, burden, your pose,
your method, your analysis.
Articulated again!
You, maybe, like us, is destitute at breakfast.

Here is a hand the length of rage
nailed to my clockface.
Here we live as if history could cease.
Here, mute despair, its chest drowned in drink.
Suddenly your hands are gripped to his face
in both my loneliness.

Here must be the voyage where we live,
both man and wife,
equally clerical in our molested organs,
here we hesitate before all wealth. Such mystery!


Such squalor celebrates the grip of eyes.
Here love is cold and counts in calories
here is the kitchen, the abattoir of dreams
here is the present, overflowing,
a miracle of economy in our transition,
the unmentionable breakfast, like blood
on the floor.


Emptied to each other, as we are,
each day, the same day, twice.
The cat’s tyranny on the landing like
a neighbour,
your hands between fingers fall from my face.
This is the edge of the wind, you said it.
It was too late,
this edge of the wind – will not feed us!


Butchered and emptied of each other
as we are,
the wet of the pencil blunts your cold lips,
now as if rising in love, your
replica crosses the street.
“I could have been a factory worker,” shouting,
somewhere never far away, without justice:
the empty terror of it all.


Emptied almost of life, like an extraction,
it is that simple, comrade.
Such hunger, like our paralysis,
more like an offering to fall from her arms.
Here where i invoke you, (who tells me i’m free.)
It is that simple: to be scalded with love,
and descending in its path, like a tin can
in a breeze.

It is so simple. The streets ventilating with rage.
It is still simple,
as simple as the coins falling from the meter,
like voices in this room, opening out your head.

Holding the truth for a moment. To be emptied
like wind or dust,
all other commerce, consumptive, diseased.


Emptied to each other as we live. Here
even the floors consume us all,
we are swallowed, slavelike, epileptic,
in each convulsion of furniture,
our poverty’s blisters
now solid as your hand, his hand held
to yours,


And here you have dared call me human,
a second ago
in your blindness like an unmovable plea
curled like the chairs in an angle where the window was.

Now, finally, emptied of corners as our coupling is,
both military and terrorist,
of plastic packets and torn cartons
in all empty rooms where your love was
as if it was the concrete of nothing:
“you could have been a commissar” you call,
all my being, three foot high, my becoming
one minute ago, almost as useful as the armchair, these curtains

“eat this if you can.” Shouting
as you recede
pregnant with both our exile, our geography as
strategic as any occupation
in such desolate space,
as easy as these lies we tell
each other.

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