Gaslight

By Tom Raworth b. 1938 Tom Raworth
a line of faces borders the strangler’s work
heavy european women
mist blows over dusty tropical plants
lit from beneath the leaves by a spotlight
mist in my mind a riffled deck
 
of cards or eccentrics
was i
a waterton animal my head
is not my own
 
poetry is neither swan nor owl
but worker, miner
digging each generation deeper
through the shit of its eaters
to the root – then up to the giant tomato
 
someone else’s song is always behind us
as we wake from a dream trying to remember
step onto a thumbtack
 
two worlds – we write the skin
the surface tension that holds
                                       you
                                       in
what we write is ever the past
 
curtain pulled back
a portrait behind it
is a room suddenly lit
 
looking out through the eyes
at a t.v. programme
of a monk sealed into a coffin
 
we close their eyes and ours
and still here the tune
 
moves on
 
 
 


Tom Raworth, "Gaslight" from Collected Poems. Copyright © 2003 by Tom Raworth.  Reprinted by permission of Carcanet Press, Ltd.

Source: Collected Poems (Carcanet Press, 2003)

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Poet Tom Raworth b. 1938

POET’S REGION England

Subjects Living, The Mind, Mythology & Folklore, Horror