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

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.


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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