Tuesday Poem: Fitting, by Rhian Gallagher

January: the month of doorways and weddings I think
as I lug the monitor up the stairwell, moving in.
The dressmaker down the corridor snowed under with work
and news from England, Stephen to marry Marco.

In a daze of beginning I set the monitor down
and try to fathom why some plugs are working in some sockets
and not in others. I started from here,
this town where column space goes
to Mr Gunther, Mr Smith, Mr Anderson
barking in prose on bestiality
… dirty foul acts … society in the last stages ….

The building angled where two streets converge
gives the makeshift office a nose, the prow of ship,
scopes a view from the bay to the Alps and back.

With all the space comes scale, somehow I am in it.
The camp table tilts with weight as if the dogmas
come in waves. The current flows and breaks.

Credit note: “Fitting” is from Rhian Gallagher’s collection Shift (Auckland University Press, 2011) and is reproduced by permission of the author. Shift is available from Auckland University Press in print and ebook formats.

Tim says: There are many excellent poems in this collection, but I chose “Fitting” because it’s elegantly written, because it captures an experience I can well relate to, and because of both its surface and deeper content. True to the title of the collection, it’s about shifting, moving in, and captures the strangeness and anxiety of the process; but there is also the deeper anxiety of returning to a place where Messrs Gunther, Smith and Anderson hold sway, a place that feels strange and far from safe.

The Tuesday Poem: Is going strong in 2015 – check out this week’s hub poem by Sugar Magnolia Wilson, chosen by Helen Rickerby, and all the poems and poets linked from the sidebar.

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