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Liner Notes

By: Zoe Ranson

About The Poem

I took up poetry in June 2020 making work live in Wallson Glass, whose participants are mainly on the other side of the world. I found that my interest in sound and in the materiality of language now preoccupies my artistic practice, and has been a wholesome and wholly life-changing experience to emerge from this global pause that I would never otherwise have accessed or experienced, feeling that I’m too stupid for poetry and that it’s such a high art, I couldn’t possibly fit.

The Poem

I arrived too late for the ceremonial part
they’re in the corner taking serum stripping bark
from pale switches
and I’m ok with that –
really – surprisingly calm. Faction-to-faction
with blankness, stepsister of the sublime.
I said this would be the year I learned to swim
Helsinki in September – a month without a phone to make – a specific kind of bliss
You know it’s an intervention?
Most people leave at that. No longer screened
for villainy, I travelled there in a dream
like flight, I travelled into myself and grew
very afraid of the Dawn Treader.
Did Madonna go as Breathless one Halloween,
to be savaged by Dick at the local skate park?
Look and you will find
a young woman
educated by screen kisses
Her innocence hums+_+_+_+_+_+_+ above
a captioned film about a lost bride –
Hugely disappointing, five stars
And the city weeps and the city bleeds and the city consumed the rage
and waste and we circle fingers about wrists
a bracelet of uncommon fear clasps the sturm.
I have taken down the curtain
so I might watch the foliage move –
The blast-furnace redress of a crimplene sunset
I said this would be the year I learned to drive, imagine?
I wanted Jupiter for you –
I wanted the moon.

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