Friday, 21 May 2010

Two Poems by Claire Trevien

Death of the Author

After The Author died His improvised foundation seized his laptop in the name of historical research. "Just think!" enthused a spokesman, "years of labour have been saved through this coup, now we do not need to guess when He was working, all the data is in this stronghold." A team of hackers worked on deciphering his passwords with relative success: "We still can't access his facebook account, but we suspect it includes the word 'jizzwizz.'."

His room was stripped, bills surgically reconstructed from the shredder, and photographic evidence of the contents of his fridge stored. The number of odd socks in his drawer was meticulously catalogued.

The foundation evicted the rest of his building and listed it a grade II. No 203 was transformed into a menagerie for the life forms found in The Author's bedsit. "This is invaluable!" exclaimed the spokesperson, gingerly pointing to a cockroach, "now we know the source of inspiration behind His epic poem 'Quit Bugging Me'."

The under-the-bed magazines that, in his case, were slumping against his DVDs were also confiscated for a new government-funded PhD: 'No Sex Please, We're British: a Study on the Influence of Print Pornography on The Author's Later Work.'

The Launderette

Sign recalling women thrashing the ice with sticks
to drip yellowing sheets in rain water: twist
and turn it, only clockwise, the other way brings the devil.

To drip yellowing sheets in rain water twist
inside. The machines have caught flies, and shake
to rid them. Three men and a woman are frozen.

Inside, the machines have caught flies, and shake:
they are making themselves a fable made of underwear.
The clock on the timer lies, you have to multiply it.

They are making themselves a fable made of underwear
to rid them of the three men and a woman selling perfume
on the benches as I scramble to hide my bras, my bones, .

The clock on the timer lies: you have to multiply it,
but I still waited too long to collect my exposed veins
from the only quiet, and now dark, washing machine.


Aidan Semmens said...

Enjoyed the laundrette poem very much. Put me in mind rather of an old favourite, Hugh Sykes Davies :-)

Claire Trévien said...

Thanks Aidan! I hadn't heard of Hugh Sykes Davies, but after checking him out it scares me how similar his 'Music in an Empty House' is to one of my old and far inferior poem. Thanks for the pointer, I shall track down some more of his writings.