against the Telegraph, 26/10/17
by dawn rosy-finger[s] worn already. autumn
leaves marks on the screen / the windows’
new or old dirt shown up in condensation.
& only hours of nimbostratus to slouch through. grey
in the superlative, screening collateral force;
little shelter too. & mist’s static crackling
the rained-off screen listed in a book for citizens,
off-screen aerial pixel-lyrical, catching tactics
exclusionary & live. outwith signal / moving
inland through sea- & paywalls’
gated song; still flicker, floodrisk, flood-
risk & forcing—can not we hum out these frequencies,
make them disappear? sandbag on the back,
spillings mulched with rain & leaves
sticking to sole to pavements trodden down.a
rest only wanting. a minute change. then packed back
dampened into corners; extra weight. if
to open up in caverns could w/o wreckage. if
words could. but still this doubling up
[screened details, muted] kicked barbaric strain.
by rush hour, the same vans overtake & fall back, over-
take again. making tin shell echo, wake up back-ached,
want for turning over just the other side.
curtain up the pricing out
still new enough for idylls of the greyer kind—
but here & there the glinted dents of silver,
scattered canisters. blocked skyline, leaves
scuttling just that pitch & pinch
around the mouth. the view were you to leave.
on the other side of the wall, the subjunct
in the parking lot lets. used fireworks scudder tyres.
except the thicker treaded; home sweet
immigration enforcement, pasted on the side. it’s
ten o’clock on a Sunday; the silhouettes
in the darkened windows are angled to the upper
floor of the maisonette. the view were you to.
no subjunct; no option but to. wait
for a friend to cross in front of the branded bonnet,
bagged-up pillow in hand. & we are
permitted thus. & will. sweet Thames
run down the Basins, plunged to make ends / cut-
ting through the fatberg took nine weeks of nine-hour days,
during which time arteries suffered, & some starved.
after the sharp intake, breath became visible against
the glass; it’s ten o’clock on a Sunday in November, &
the uniformed drivers of the vans indicate, even
in the cul-de-sac. the view.
were you to leave, go home outrage
in [an] echo chamber, short-spark the window still
in place. so stepping out is still
only an escape. from Limehouse, Shadwell, between
the Hawksmoors to the Wrens. between
walled gardens have seen secateurs
for decades. job’s obsolescent glimmer. once upon,
paradise derived from enclosure. from heaping up around.
turned away, traced blue paths centripetal,
riverside. to Blackfriars Bridge at other end of light.
& under there: a careful sleeping arrangement,
tucked pillow under there. as if shelter enough, rail
[wheel] against subgrade, reverb above sleeper’s
small baskets. dotted presence,
holding fast the colder evening air.
& beside: the smallest Spiral Jetty,
laid out in Thameside mud & stone. it’s
ten o’clock on a Sunday, superhighway cyclists
follow blue concrete with their lights on,
knowing there’s no place like
go. along the bank, the view were you to
breathe another Emerald City, earth-
works undetected at the gates.
Katy Lewis Hood is from the Midlands. She is a founding editor of amberflora and CUMULUS, and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Zarf, DATABLEED, and Plumwood Mountain.
Katy Lewis Hood