After I told you I’d never see you again you ripped the mobile home
apart certain and dexterous and everything in it because
I had lived there for three slow months one summer returning
from Florida resource-less and spinning. And it all came apart so easily
bare hands, claw-hammer, and energy, dismantled doors and windows went first,
then the fittings and fixtures flew after the furniture and the wall-to-wall shelving
that stowed all my clothes from the black blossoming moulds as they bled against discipline.
The walls, the floor and the roof peeled open stunningly like a burn in our vision.
Everyone watched, stupefied and dazed, my insides cast out over the lawn
disseminating before you gathered it all back to the centre and set it alight.
Spectators were horrified at the strength of the flames that flared over the hedges
in a spectacular show of anger and all for me!
I smiled – it would have been worse
if you’d done nothing.
Written as part of my Masters portfolio 2009 and published by The Poetry Bus in early October 2013
Who’d have thought
Filmed in Peru and Ireland by Melissa Diem
Poem written and read by Melissa Diem
Sound production by Colm Slattery
On my way to the bank, food-shopping and picking up nitro glycerine
and the sap on the car bled by the sycamore heavy with summer and it wasn’t
particularly sunny or raining it wasn’t a negative or a tumbling downwards I simply saw
a juggernaut rising over the horizon on the left And heard a voice my own voice
as though said by another say ‘enough’ and as the weight of the juggernaut slid
towards me, against the fade out back drop of existence, hurtling heavily, unstoppable
on a junction of road meant to pass I had time to look And in a neutral state of feeling
I willingly drove forward in a sudden chance to escape the great weight
of my fate But the truck swerved over, blaring its horn furiously and passing me by
I missed my chance and was left wondering what great thing intervened if at all
in my sudden chance to cease at exactly the right moment Did I say
‘enough’ too soon or too softly and it hadn’t gathered strength and words
only become commands when they reach a certain level of intensity
when enough – and really mean it say it with a quiet resignation becomes enough
Screened at FILMPOEM 2013 as part of the main programme, Dunbar, Scotland.
Selected for the CologneOFF IX – 9th Cologne International Videoart Festival
Selected for the 2013 VISIBLE VERSE FESTIVAL, Canada
A poetry film that explores ideas of alienation and personal identity in relation to others and by testing the limits within the self. Filmed in Ireland in 2013.
Images by Melissa Diem
Poem written and read by Melissa Diem
Sound production by Colm Slattery.
I tested what to do or not from strange lives passing swiftly
before me on a thirty-six inch screen or me before them
on a train travelling before curtains are drawn and after the lights flick on
to renovated kitchens viewed from the back, bird-tables, trampolines all gathering nets.
I tested my body – giving up food, and days I could sleep in multitudes,
pressing the pliable walls of my mind and scaffolds of thought to a fault-line.
I walked across the country with my eyes closed
like a kid trying on sizes pretending to be blind because you haven’t figured out
how to gauge the distance of your life against others.
Or like testing an ornament unbearably fragile you’ve been told not to touch
but you can’t stand the tension of not knowing
the exact measure of pressure it would take
to crush it
Published in The Stinging Fly 2010
Everything turns over, falls apart and away –
a ticket, a destination, a language each finding an anchor without hold
I lost my language today and half my vision flickering on and off repeatedly
and every time it comes back you’re further away I’m hanging around airports
in search of new lands only the flight board’s indecipherable and the codes are tickering
saccades faster than the eye can see and the ticket sellers are growing increasingly
mistrustful and angry because no one can understand what I’m saying And you
look at me mystified with the world spinning gently in the palm of your hand
as you stand with your flight all arranged out of here and me going nowhere –
under a roof that rests on walls only because its wants to fall and I’m staring
at these meaningless coins falling from my palm. Halved between two selves –
one falling apart and the other unchanging with eyes that are dying to shut
or to see and waving you off at the terminus with nothing to say
and it took me so long to find you