24 June 2014

Tuesday Poem: Chrome Yellow Hypothesis, by Iain Britton

the house isn’t what it was

the voice of a radio predicts a storm /

it mimics a politician
commentates on cricket

the radio possesses the eye
of an orchestra
anthems on walls / flags and
coronation stuff / a platoon

route marches to Hill 44 /      

the family has taken furniture
its god particles and disguised itself in bundles

the house isn’t what it seems ...

a square brick object at the mercy of orthodoxies
dousing gentiles in holy water / they
chant / play / sing / love thine enemies
Te Hahi o te Whakapono

the church (sermon-bloated)

hunches its white skull

beside the lake

passers-by are pulled in to drool

on historical grounds

where prisoners in wood

hug others in wood

where the lake laps music against stained-

glass windows / a flute’s voice

breathes on naked skin

a woman smiles

undoes her soul

for the cost of a camera’s sharp bite

life i observe is a sulphuric cloud
raw and exposed
a matter of confessions

this woman this mother

the miracle makers
who each year split atoms
by walking on air

she’s fascinated by silica

its crystals / this geothermal fragility

which  domes the town

she opens herself to parkland
any stuntman would exploit

beside the lake

birds scrap

over chrome-plated godsends
plucked from moonstones

this mother this woman

goes into the house of

 one room
 one kitchen
 one radio

a solitary figure clothing
legends in bright garments
 what if

i place my lips on her lips / would forests
buckle up / would ghosts
return to their shelves to rest

she speaks to each gnome in her garden / paints

their hats gold

handles them carefully

each night they rough and tumble

squabble like her children

where invisibility is an asset

where in her house

love battles

love charges up a hill / e hoa
she calls

and the radio responds

with the news / the weather

a boy scoops up a ball

and runs with it
through a yellow cloud

Credit note: "Chrome Yellow Hypothesis" is from Iain Britton's collection photosynthesis, now available from Kilmog Press. This version is published, and reformatted to work better on a blog, with the permission of the author.

Tim says: After my hiatus, I'm back in the world of the Tuesday Poem, where I will try to get back in the routine of posting a Tuesday Poem every fortnight. It's a pleasure to (re)start with this fine poem by Iain Britton.

1 comment:

Michelle Elvy said...

Gosh, there's a lot to admire in this poem, beginning with that opening line. I like all the imaginative ways this poet engages the reader -- the italics in the middle, that 'what if' section -- all of it very compelling. And the radio -- the constant presence of the radio. Glad to read this here today. Welcome back, Tim!