After Joanna Margaret Paul’s Imagined in the Context of a Room, exhibited at City Gallery Wellington, 2023
Heaven is a Blue Room And so It’s my celestial dial tone and I’m on hold Because it’s not that it is It is that it ends With all these sunbeams Everywhere Everytime Curtains Always behind curtains Closed The night sky stays consistent Indifferent toward the satellite beside me The waves inside subside Painting into a new era Or so they say Resting at your feet I am a faithful dog Or so they say At mine A whirlpool Blitz white Caught The kind of chaos only motion can capture
Until Rendered Still Silent Patient
If only Slowly
The shutters The shadow keepers and I We can wait a lifetime
Sparsely cut and finely tuned our sparing words Let it all spill Have you forgotten That satisfies me The rapture of colour in softcore tones The stern faces of mountains warmed by the sun Demarcated by fences I see A world as a flash As it dances It burns Whirls Whips Embraces Enamores Clambers up Warms us And shatters again Fences Finding the line Find your feet Shy As the sun splits in two Blushing silver A new era A new reason to argue Over angles I’m over it The haptics of a world rushing by without pause Rest Always behind curtains Closed Still Spilling opal purple A soft evening emerald green Taken from the study of a field glow As the sky tumbles over outside Ruining the carpet Light cascading and crashing down the hallway Raining Again Condemned as I am By tasks Tiny tripwires designed to detonate Pushing back against obsolescence These fairytale informants They are torturous Too busy doomsday daydreaming To dignify it To turn it all around somehow As marred and stranded as I am at the shores of obedience Remorseless
Maybe it’s a fence Maybe it’s a gateway May the pain be information A love spell Full of luck and charm I see I lean I rest Wane and relent Repent while washed up on the shore of being able to reliably rinse out my words to weigh them against something forthright and final A love spell Even though sometimes mines a dry spell A total love drought A hurt so historic it goes beyond words Though so much still shines through These days call out to me of brightness Of the sea Heaven is a Blue Room After all For play A pale landscape Of substance over mere subsistence I see It doesn’t just fall from the sky This Brilliance And so It’s my celestial dial tone and I’m on hold Because it’s not that it is It is that it ends With all these sunbeams Everywhere Everytime
The artwork that inspired this piece is currently still under copyright, you can view it online here. The featured artwork in its place was commissioned by bad apple from Mickie Loof for the 2023 Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day.