Poem: Patricia Farrell

from Handshoe

(after Max Klinger Ein Handschuh (Paraphrase on the finding of a glove))


what bat
yonder window breaks

the movement
of the limbs
from the midline

of the circumduction
of the body
into the range
of thieves witches and night-riders


things may look normal
in paradise but
in my garden shed
it is darkest night

and I am having
the heebie jeebies
flogging myself
into a cocked hat

things may look normal
in paradise but
I am alone
here in my fortress

and forty woodbines a day
only make it worse
so when I have set fire to the roses
I will take myself off to the wilderness

when I woke this morning
there were hairs on the palms of my hands
and how remote
the planet of love now seems

my love is impotent
hiding from the light
lying in bed
beneath an oppressive heaven

in the sun’s erotic glare
against its searching beams

every night the roses play
queer flutes and violins
that question me
are you musical

every night the thing that flies
through windows
makes fun of me
dancing to this peculiar racket

ratcheting up
the tension
fondling the glove
like a fledgling nymph

the glove I stole
to encompass
and contain
the world

I try delicately
if not deliriously
to reply
just stop

when may we
be allowed
to leave off dancing
I am tired of dancing

and fooling
and around
I just want to lie down

in this moment
I have spun apart
half of me
is on a lunar journey

half stagnates
on earth

whining sands
and the laughter
of dying

the last road to
nowhere is
not going

I said to the rose
in short
I am knackered


this is the god
as plump greenbottle
planting his shitty
little feet

on our fine
kid gloves
into a gorgeous

iridescent dream
as acidic
as beer
or tomatoes

mildly alcoholic
his brilliance

here stand I
like Venus on a rock cake
laughing because
I only drew myself up

a me workshop
a potential tragi-
comic apeing
an otherwise

what else can I do
god help me
as the one who is not egregious
looks egregious amongst the rest

I inhabit it now
but it shows signs
which are not the
version of the story

best go hunting
a different parallel universe
dry wrapped in tissue
sore but ecstatic

it has just laid an egg
pulled through
like a small leather button
almost a seed

by a carnival hook
to feed the assembled vessels
stuffed with materials
for a tastier treat

did they say
you have to break a few
reasonably shaping the body
into informative positions

so so
time to go hunting
gouging and screwing at every turn

more bang bang
finger fuck gloves
than those who relied
on fantasy alone


Patricia Farrell is a poet and visual artist. She has collaborated with other writers and artists, most notably Robert Sheppard, as well as the installation artist Jivan Astfalck, on the project B*twixst, exhibited in Birmingham, Portsmouth and Cologne, and A Space Completely Filled with Matter with the dancer, Jennifer Cobbing. Her collection, The Zechstein Sea, was published by Shearsman in 2013 and her latest publication is High Cut: My Model of No Criteria (Leafe Press 2018). She completed a PhD thesis in 2011 on poetic artifice in philosophical writing.







Submit a comment