hobart logo
Two Poems photo


I opened the window so I could hear people.
But all I heard was the wind rushing,
fine garment of nothingness, like tulle.
You sent me a handout listing various
cognitive distortions, including 
personalization and emotional reasoning,
and let me tell you, it was a scream. 
I believe in the dream of human
perfectability, howevermuch
a vista, like mecca, out of reach.
In the meantime I have mastered
the art of appreciating objects  
such as marble, which remains
cool even in sweltering heat,
even if objects are nothing more
than the decision of atoms 
to remain united in the face
of travesty, poverty, war.
In the meantime I have picked
up several musical instruments
then gently laid them down.
Can you imagine being lucky
enough to devote your life
to French pastries,
working tirelessly to form
stiff peaks of meringue?
There are omens to show you
you are dying.  The world 
is too much with us, first 
as footnote, then as song. 


Res Domestica

Who will make me a mere body again?
The trick is to hollow yourself out
until nothing is left but form.
Come over to my anthropod 
and we’ll make passionate love 
atop a toy carousel, 
with lacquered horses
going round and round.
It’s propitious weather 
to become a human turnstile.
The salt water laps
at the wind-beaten prow.
The bromide of evening thins,
wears out.  We’re left hanging 
onto banisters, our voices
a mere scratch on the turntable.
Charlatan comforts:  this room, this chair.
What I meant when I said 
one blossom desires the air.

image: Dorothy Chan