Ashes Are Bone and Dust - download pdf or read online

By Jill Battson

ISBN-10: 1895837022

ISBN-13: 9781895837025

Jill Battson, whose first publication of poems, 'Hard Candy', shook the poetry institution through its well-starched neck, is again with a moment breathtaking choice of lyric and elegiac poems. those are poems that aren't afraid to call genuine humans and actual locations, poems that enjoy the relationships that make our lives, after all, worthy residing. The e-book maps the best way via grief and restoration. The poems -- sensual, hectic and probing -- record Battson's mom and dad' dying and the aftermath that loss leaves at the back of. additionally they handle the method of restoration, pulling seriously at the trip for discovery either tangible and emotional. Battson's poems are uncooked and lovely, tough and flowing, intensely evocative and imbued with the language and imagery of intercourse.

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Example text

It is only eight months and still my emotions are skin peeled outwards. Raw skin with a wool cardigan drawn over it. It is hard to be alone in grief. In the utility room at my sister's house I lay out the utensils on the chest freezer that has become my workbench. The bucket is there. The freezer's white, minutely pocked surface questions me. This room is overlooked by the studio windows from where, at three o'clock in the afternoon, I see my sister working. I wipe the surface clean. Take two identical dark grey plastic canisters from their cardboard sarcophagi.

43 What happened after the photograph was taken In the photograph my father is in love with me the bridge of his large nose rubs the smooth skin of my baby forehead his eyes fixed on my mine a crinkling of humour hatches there the moment before a full smile he is wearing a thinly striped shirt underneath a ribbed sweater -I remember the smell of his sweaters, wood, wool, father In the photograph I have the same ear shape as him but it'll be years before I grow into the chin, the jaw the way his long face flattens across the cheekbone his foreshortened top lip and large bottom lip -kissable, like a saxophonist's, my mother said I love that face in a narcissistic reflection it's the late '50s, his hair is short, sideburns long my baby fluff showing red even in the black and white photograph —he carried a lock of it in his wallet until I was in my twenties The photograph ends below our chins, my mother, instead of hacking off heads framed low so there is much space above us makes the picture surreal and crooked an isolated feel of summer in England him and me in the world in the photograph waves break on an almost deserted beach a spit or pier lolls out into the sea on the horizon -44- a lady behind a windbreak attempts a tan a tap bound to a wooden post grows out of my father's left shoulder The photograph sits on my desk and reminds me of loss nobody can tell me where it was taken what time of day or year who was there, what they spoke of I expect my sister was in the background with her thirteen-year-old pout there was probably a striped windbreak some wooden deckchairs a Primus stove brewing up tea, a child's spade and bucket my father probably held me in his lap I expect he stroked my cheek encouraged me to grasp his finger in my fist wondered at this tiny miracle in his non-verbal way what happened after the photograph was taken was this: thirty-seven years later he was dead.

I want the sterile sharpness of bone fragments clean. Fresh in their newness. Nothing mingling. On this day fifty-five years ago the hoarfrost would be down. Winters being colder then. The same sky. The same blue. Stomachs fluttering with the anticipation of individual lives Unking. My father pressing his RAF uniform. My mother fingering eau-de-nil silk. The felt black cat with the silver horseshoes and bells. In a moment on earth I think all of this. It is only eight months and still my emotions are skin peeled outwards.

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Ashes Are Bone and Dust by Jill Battson

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