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Three Poems

Sophie Robinson


the king of love is dead, the king of love is dead, the king of love
she sings up the piano with leroi jones and everyone and thatcher stops breathing
& my love is dead she died.  my old love died & not in a good way
& i got a rancid tat to remember her by, got a slit wrist that shoots pus like a gun
that drips blood like my kitten’s tears.  i’ve been bleeding for years.
the king of love is dead & love bleeds out of us not by any stream
we can catch and measure but over twenty two years, thirty five years, fifty.  eighty seven.
it was kindness that died.  1979 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 o the years
i spat out my milk warm & sour on the playcarpet: i gurgle out love
am not kind, speak to others as though through glass, cannot see
over distances, wring my hands in place of waving, &c.
what’s yours is mine & what is mine rots in me
internet troll from the past i god myself over your misery threadbare
even now.  patch up yr sodden land and howl away
every mistake headed for the brink & all about the cheap corners of cities
fucking about in iceland & wasting money on horsepower, scratching
about in the bins of public parks and private lives maintained behind
a window’s glow that they earned years ago, last century alone.
what will we do now what will we do now the queen of hate is dead
& the stars of coupledom, my new love & i, are state sanctioned &
can say our troubles died?  at home cuddling our children
to death would it matter then that other people are dying
at our expense?  does my lover’s stupid joke that doubles me
do any such intimacies become my passport to the new
country of my liberation?  & who would I leave behind or
at what price does the privilege of blinking begin?


in paris we were always waiting for rome to burn & when
you say “voila”      what you mean is really don’t look
at this, i have already looked for you, i am telling you
to look in order that you do not.  save your eyes, save them.

so it goes round in circles like this looking & not looking
in a place on fire, in a long thin line of fire running as a vein,
barbara streisand called she wants her songs back & other
indignities, falling together forever off a mountain of regret.

in london we were always waiting for paris to burn with the
heat of itself as we sat in our damp selves.  the rain pours.
meryl streep called, she wants her kids back & everybody
crying in a line, sobbing into the next person’s shoulders,

& me at the end back sodden with tears & nobody to cry on
anyway, even though the whole thing was my idea tracey emin
called she wants these self-pitying affectations back & i
can’t pay her.  not this month.  we are all going to die soon.

i wish we had sex more.  if i lie on my back & you lie on
your front & we are both in the same bed is that sex?
draw a line between your eyes & down the middle of your
nose & split your lips & there you have it.  light a match.

your face is a mountain in case you hadn’t guessed & i like
to think i carved it.  all the animals here have big & heavy
heads & am fucking sick of their hydrocephalic tumbling
loads of poets called to ask for their pastoral metaphors:

slicking back the skin to reveal flowers blooming in the folds
& that’s what gets us going like friends holding hands in the
face of expensive juice, in the face of shutup coupledom, open
ye & save yourself from looking save yourself from this, & now

everybody’s calling to say they love you & that i should stop talking


sun set down train window the sky shines like a thick lake
& the old clouds foam off north sea to faux a mountaintop
like when we looked for that night stream to swim in
up so high we drew our breath in pacy blades
left dry & swimming only in clouds & that one stalinist
monument so beige it was cut from that sky
& flowered shrines to nobodies we found in clumps & did not tell
& the man we saw crying on a stump nearby & did not tell
were driven lower and lower until our ears popped and
none of us talked until we reached the cold hotel
& now the coal train drives me high & i take the heat
i’m the nobody & you’re the man who shrined me
you sit on your stump and cry
now, go, as the trees to the lake
& you won’t come close now no.


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