Betsy Porritt

 

IN THE MANNER OF A CUP

 

                                        light a candle as evening falls

domestic and unavoidable, who are you

in relationship to this space? Passenger

              to paternal law

rings                spectacular resistance

              touching a relic that blessed ‘clean’ governance

 

footpaths invent themselves

             waterruns in the public square,

             different alphabets lap lap lap           my mum

 and I talk about my sister’s eggs

                            I push at the scrim with my eyes closed

             my nephews are tactile and puppyish

 

with my back to the core I’m looking out

             a truck vibrates by to Dover

     silences are blocked passages in our gut intelligence

                          I keep on taking my shoes off

in private

               we hear our neighbours, sound sutures us

 

                          I plant bulbs because I’m in love

with the closeness of promises           somewhere my

 mother turns her attention to logistics

               we drink coffee from a flask in the crown of a

 fallen Ash       I won’t write the difficulty of being

numerous my hands are framing the daily

 

               between feast days and tax returns are concrete

 blocks paving slabs iron sheeting and a weapon pit

                                                  a baby is crying in a different

 part of this building

               I’m talking about acts of horticultural

 and civic care

 

               I’ve made a triangle with my fingers tenderly

 trying to enclose what I mean

                                      holding you all at arm’s length

               I can come in the time it takes you to clean your

 teeth   turning my face to the ground so I can bear

                                                                  witness to the future

 

 

 

 

from EQUIVALENT MATERIALS

 

                                    *   

                                     hours ooze contains ‘we’ and ‘was’

                        now we threshold diagonally             eave deaf peeping

                        cottony holding place             we’re bookshelf people

                                     shoulder part of the building envelope

                                                 hold                 pronounced ‘house’

 

 

 

                                    *

                                       delightful eyelid liquidity          russet dyed

                       strip to origin              plain metal body

                       rabbit eyes in the rabbit light

                       shared outline            

                                    ‘your’ safety is important to ‘us’

 

 

 

                                    *

                         how to shoulder the                            teeth futures

                        making eye contact          hands in continual motion

                        speak boney truth

                                        buckle under it’s ok

                                                    readdress the ground

 

 

 

                                    *

                       for now little bread biter

                                     we’re wild grass people

                                     waiting on the rushcutters

                        grubbied council vans            hold the tar rate

                        baked in a bottomless pie                   and ate it

 

 

Betsy Porritt recently completed her PhD on Susan Howe and material culture. These poems are from a series that will be published in full from Guillemot Press in Autumn 2022. Other work appears in SPAM 001, Amberflora 10, and Datableed Zine X.