Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tuesday Poem - 'The Hand' by Jennifer Compton

The Hand

We'd finished shooting, I'd got my glasses back on.
I lit a cigarette, letting the sweet smoke lift me and
I turned my head to stare afar with one eye,
the other one held on to what only I can see.
As the hand swooped up to my lips to deliver the hit
I began to riff. Do you see, how I am about to speak?
When I was a young woman, oh a long long time ago,
my most hideous, heaving nightmare was my mother
laying my hand on the butcher block and with a swift
gesture, lopping it. Night after night, I lost my hand.

Waking in the dark, sweating, feeling for the precious
hand that wrote my stuff. Why would my mother want
to cut it off? My beautiful hand, my sagacious hand.
It arrived as an attachment, the photo he had snatched
after we had finished shooting, that is the way of it, but
with a hand deformed by slow motion, twice life-size,
monstrous, levitating a doppelganger of a cigarette.

I clattered out an impassioned message and pressed Send.
'Can you take out the hand?' So he did. He purged the hand
with her familiar, it was never there. Can you see it, no? 

Check out this most interesting and archival of books by Nicholas Walton-
Healey, released last year.  My picks of the photos are Steve Smart and PiO. 
As for my poem itself - well I am not sure. It could be the initiating poem of my
next book, or it could just get tucked into the archives.

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