Three Poems


Linda King





anything of value spills dark



at the awkward dinner party

you wonder who to believe

how much to disclose

when you leave you offer

a strand of your pale hair

as a small kindness


you need money but the banks are closed

the tellers have lost all hope and symmetry

they are taking inventory of all the small bills

and past transgressions


this city suffers from a lack of colour

the buildings are grey and ordinary

anything of value spills dark

washes away    loses ground


but you wear the right shade of red lipstick

you can recite all the shelter nouns by heart

you have twenty-three fare tickets

in your handbag


and    you are determined to go

where language changes at every border

where there will be new words

for everything





there is always an old story in the way



small hours    smaller dreams

you try to dry your wings

but you are treading streets

instead of water    running low

on survival skills and useless grief

you see only the perfect damage

that has been done


the question is never the answer

take a step in any direction

bypass those vague desires

of purchase and possession


there is always an old story in the way

everything is part of something else

like reality scraps in the evidence given


that first angel was an accidental sighting


what you need is less than more    you need

to spend the morning plumping the living room

to break off pieces of light


rearrange yourself

as you go stumbling and tripping

into the strength of that rare green





like a wind bent sapling



fill in the blanks

you have always gambled on language

but all the nouns have become proper


your words return rearranged

to fit a new point of view

continue?    or begin again?


subject matter is overrated

there is no particular philosophy

regarding being    or not



is a chance you take

a lure of any either or proposition


like a wind bent sapling you say yes too often

you walk your anxiety to the pharmacy counter

dream your house has seven more rooms


there is a whole library in your pulse

where you fashion a construct of reality

you do not understand a word of it


and so you avoid your own question

how did you end up this feral child

in someone else’s yard?









Linda King is the author of the poetry collections Dream Street Details (Shoe Music Press, 2013), Reality Wayfarers (Shoe Music Press, 2014), No Dimes for the Dancing Gypsies (BlazeVOX Books, 2016), Ongoing Repairs to Something Significant (BlazeVOX Books, 2017) and Antibodies in the Alphabet (BlazeVOX Books, 2019).  She has been nominated for Best of the Net and for The Pushcart Prize.  She lives and writes by the sea on The Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada. 



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