How to Disappear

Earlier this evening, I was trying to persuade Sophie Scott to let poetry into her life. In pursuit of this aim, I force read her two poems. This one may have done the trick. I read it first in the Reader Organisation anthology or children A Little, Aloud.
See what you think.

How to Disappear

First rehearse the easy things.
Lose your words in a high wind,
walk in the dark on an unlit road,
observe how other people mislay keys,
their diaries, new umbrellas.
See what it takes to go unnoticed
in a crowded room. Tell lies:
I love you. I’ll be back in half an hour.
I’m fine.

The childish things.
Stand very still behind a tree,
become a cowboy, say you have died,
climb into wardrobes, breathe on a mirror
until there’s no one there, and practice magic,
tricks with smoke and fire—
a flick of the wrist and the victim’s lost
his watch, his wife, his ten pound note. Perfect it.
Hold your breath a little longer every time.

The hardest things.
Eat less, much less, and take a vow of silence.
Learn the point of vanishing, the moment
embers turn to ash, the sun falls down,
the sudden white-out comes.
And when it comes again – it will –
just walk at it. walk into it, and walk,
until your know that you’re no longer
anywhere.

Sophie may be coming to stay at the weekend, so I might have more poems to blast her with. On the other hand, we may just go and eat. And MasterB will be sure of cuddles.

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12 thoughts on “How to Disappear

  1. Twas a fine poem, polished, with a multitude of facets, a real gemstone.

    An evening of poetry, in the old old old days, I discovered, as many do, that the absorption of poetry had a direct correlation with the absorption of alcohol. One to two bottles of wine its Wordsworth-like, five an over if memory serves, its Tom Waits or god only knows some other gangster poet.

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