new zealand electronic poetry centre

J I L L   C H A N

Losing His Name


The man sits on the sofa ,
reading his newspaper.
He doesn't know
how to write one to ten in words ,
though he remembers
that he wrote poetry,
that the names of the friends he knew
come into his dreams at night.

He doesn't seem to understand time,
walking into a room
again and again
asking the same question
as if to remind him
where it's gone,
where he can find it.

Outside of stepping in the office ,
he rarely goes anywhere.
Perhaps each new place
is like a spiral that turns away
from where he is ,
losing his name
and the places he's been to
like the numbers he can't write.

( previously broadcast online on MiPoradio's The Goodnight Show,
29 March 2006)

All The Things I Say

all things I say
I say to you
even if they seem distant
they take me to you
wisely enfolded
in the halo of a dream
that gentle light
the sky could meet in myself
in the perfection of a self (you )
doubled in language
where you sleep, where I sleep
where a window is a boat of feathers
the light dreaming of
something weightless
something far too close to ourselves

Last updated 26 April, 2006