Claire Potter



Impossible to write
more than a word
on a gilded flower, a copper leaf - - -

flame, raised in a basin of wax
swivels under the shadow
of an unsewn canopy

my hair drawn up from my neck, away from my eyes
I write, nothing to twirl
but the thrice broken lead
of a thin green pencil

yesterday’s linearity
coils beneath my fingertips
& parchments
of the scarf he tied
the fingers he curled
the crepuscule-rain I drank from his mouth
detach from the present


Out of cuffs of chintz & emerald gabardine
my palms run flat along the snow
smoothing scales so as to lie
under the weight
of a cataract moon

you arrived there drunk
on your knees
night, Once upon
A wilted panicle

tissues fell red
from the umbel of your hat, one
by one into the snow
(She took your head in her hands, parted your hair
& found the wound. Dressed it with ice. She went to leave three days
  later, long after you had already gone & saw the tissues, now white, disseminated,
but palpably you, tiny grains of cerise still
within, but she


Another bitten styrofoam cup
is carried by the wind

our home, built of clay whispers, smoked thresholds &
hail falling in syllabic pieces, is a shadeless awning
where buckled slats fold into ageing pine-

trees & water & silence
alkaline our kitchen-table perseverance.

Across from me, an ersatz greenhouse warbles
in your eye

on the windowsill, framed with paint curls
a pot of myopic pencils
comes into bloom

fronds self-sharpen on the stones of a pellicle night & petals
become unstuck & drop
into the craters
of their own shadows - - -

It remains impossible
to write this
unintended florescence



Claire Potter lives in Paris. She recently completed a Masters at University Paris VII where she wrote on Racine's Phedre and Rousseau's Confessions. Her writing and translations have appeared or are to appear in tessera, Atenea, New Writing, LiNQ and Journal of Visual Culture. She is recipient of a 2006 Young Australian Poet's Fellowship from the Poet's Union and the Australia Council and will be 2006 Emerging Writer in Residence at the Katherine Susannah Prichard Writer's Centre, Perth.

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