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A Response To: Pay No Attention To That Man Behind The Curtain


The following three poems are written by Chris Jones and are inspired by the exhibition "Pay No Attention To That Man Behind The Curtain" which is running in The Complex Gallery (21-25 Arran Street East, Dublin 7) from December 3rd to December 16th


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One


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Do you remember your name? - asks the yellow girl

Yes, I lie.

This is the room of lost and forgotten things

Gold…Cinnabar…Ivory…Jade

A bed, a dresser and a straight-backed chair.

The green nurse shimmers

her dress hissing

she is made of stone.

Do you remember the storm? - asks the yellow girl

Yes, I lie.

I remember nothing only bright whiteness

the whites of uncle’s eyes

my aunt’s teeth shiny as apples.

Leaving the hospital again…. not broken but empty

the moon trapped in my bones.

Don’t...you...know...that…eggs...are...poison? - asks the yellow girl.

I am blurred at the edges, searching the frozen room for lost days

vomiting glitter and paint.

No, I lie.




Two


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A gloved hand.

A copper hand.

A tin hand.

A hen’s wing.

Three stick fingers.


My own hands are empty songs with nothing to follow.

There is a brick in my belly.

I wish my mouth was a cave where I could shelter safely.


Ask the mirror - says the yellow girl.


I see the tumbled rose of her hair

eyes as black as burnt stars, no longer telling their stories.

Is she empty like me?


We are the same- says the yellow girl.


The meadowlark sings from the other side -


We

We can’t

We can’t go

We can’t go home

We can’t go home again

We can’t go home again

We can’t go home again

We can’t go home

We can’t go

We can’t

We.





Three


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Soon it will be dark, and the demon will come

quiet as a wintering lake

to watch me with a new head

silencing inside what now can never begin.


Does it hurt? – asks the yellow girl

you’re bleeding

I don’t know


Blood pools in my slippers

pounding against my heart- wall

Crimson or Ruby

like the doctor’s ring.

I don’t know


I keep spinning.

Blessed art thou amongst women - says the yellow girl


I take off my slippers and stand in the whispering river

taking root - growing taller

wild as a scarecrow in the wind.


I have become a riverbed of stones

glittering like rain caught in streetlamps.

and later if she asks, I’ll tell her that I had no fear

in my eyes, only the madness of tomorrow.





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