Éireann Lorsung Poems




Scaffold body

after Kiki Smith



We were used to living

attached to the ground.


So it was a surprise


to see others living

in suspension.


Bodies soft


as sunflower heads after

winter, hanging


from the scaffold.


We climbed on up.

The thought of bodies


even small ones


or ones we don't know

living like that




is too much. Lying

on the scaffold's bars


our breath went in and out.


Our lungs moved

everything gently.


Swing, little soft








House troubles


The spiders in the hallway aren't interested in us.

Across the street and across more streets, the river fills in with fog.


The hour it is/the hour it isn't/the house not given quantities.

The city is given and the century.


We stand outside the house and wonder what to do about the spiders.

My point is, there's nothing wrong with them staying.


You open a packet of sugar and eat it straight.

How much of you is insect or bird?


Upstairs, in my room, the houseplants are taking over.

That's what happens when you don't go there for a long time.


Remember when we were walking and saw the Eiffel Tower?

This was like that, only with more spiders and cyclamen.





Éireann Lorsung is a writer and maker from Minneapolis but living in Nottingham (UK), where she is finishing a doctoral thesis on love and deconstruction. Her first book, Music For Landing Planes By, was published by Milkweed Editions in 2007. A second is forthcoming next year, also from Milkweed. A recipient of a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize, she is currently at work on three full-length projects spanning a history of the long 20th century; a ghost-world concerned with atoms and cyclamen; and a book of poems on femininity and migration. She is the organiser of the Nottingham Poetry Series and editor of the print journal 111O. Find out more at her website, ohbara.com.



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