The Double Session
Consider the problem of VIPs and their
need to avoid attention. I’d rather you didn’t.
For the lingering pitfalls of shallow content
try out-of-town openings and location scouting
or get yourself a bankable hobby:
a humble half-timber fixer-upper
built for an aging child-star.
You can drive all over town in search of
Hollywoodiana: a model galleon
like the one on Errol Flynn’s mantle
or chinoiserie and chintz, name your poison.
Where does a woman’s sympathy end
and her indiscretion begin?
Mimesis can be your friend if you’ll only let it.
My problem is secondary process,
how to swap psychotic transference for another city.
I’d cry my eyes out in a movie palace
every day if I could find the time
but insurance rarely reimburses labile affect.
I’ll nod and then you can pick up
where you left off last time:
what the woman said to you,
how it made you feel small and want to leave,
searching for the lift and then the bus-stop,
the distant clack of typewriters in the night.
When our work is done these tapes will be yours.
waste and wild
I’m bound to it as if it were you
Anachronic from first to last
what’s left to confess?
Eat my words to keep them
from resembling your loose lips
This scatterbrained year read roses
wattle for laurel
Names pass you by
too far gone
Like a seance in the woods
You are living on nothing but air
and out of wishes
Prince and Beyoncé
tearing up Purple Rain
The White Stripes
thrashing like the Carpenters
returned from a sojourn in hell
Where is the Love?
We are the Funk
This House is not a Home
Faith Hill comes out to say goodnight
a Pan Am hostess circa 1969
Hurry back to Nashville, Girlfriend
The guide for foreign scholars tells me
elation leads to disappointment
If supermarkets confuse you close your eyes
Forget about the food groups
once a sodomite
always a sodomite
[Kate Lilley teaches feminist literary history and theory at the University of Sydney and has published widely on early modern women’s writing and contemporary poetry. She is the editor of Margaret Cavendish, The Blazing World and other writings (Penguin Classics). Her poetry collection, Versary, was published by Salt.]
Copyright © 2009 by Kate Lilley, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.