Published in Rabbit #5 (Rabbit's a quarterly journal of non-fiction poetry)
HOW TO GET RID OF THE LAYER OF SNOW
1. First observe it.
Apply your cooling-glasses to it.
The pebble ones, rounded at the edge.
The snow will fall off.
If it doesn’t, see 2.
2. Shoot the snow, scatter it.
With your pellet gun.
The shards will break up and mix with the grey.
3. Poetry’s not allowed to have “shards” in it anymore.
(Ref. Twitter, yesterday, Claire Askew.)
4. I know the layer of snow is still there
because I saw it overnight
in its pale dressing-gown.
5. I wanted to say “moon” somewhere.
But the image would not fit with “a layer of snow”.
It’s hard to fit things to one dimension,
to a flat surface.
6. When the layer of snow is gone
it will appeal to you.
“Appeal”. Not pleading.
It will have a face as fresh
as a cloud.
I mean, child.
It will swim.
7. My Operas can’t Swim
(Manfred Jurgensen, via Val Vallis,
Brisbane flood, 1974, cf. Notes, p.79.)
Enough syllables per line/break?
8. As the layer of snow melts,
or one of two things, will happen: your poems will get
Your poems will get longer.
9. Once you’ve got rid of the layer of snow
you’ll be able to see your lyrical aura.
Then the circle will be complete.
You must, they say,
get rid of your lyrical aura.
Then you’ll be safe from the predatory black line
visible now the snow has melted.
safe from the predatory line break, visible now.
At least begin each line with a capital letter.
10. Write on the line.
And the thin black words will vanish.