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Pam Thompson




the purpose is just
this, to push your life at the edges

to step out, blur borders so yellow bleeds
into blue and the scarlet
rectangle balances

in your dry room, your landlocked thoughts
are on time-lapse




sudden lights like waves

another frame of mind freezes
into one by Hokusai

you can walk around it,
old gesture in close-up,
from deep to shallow,

viewing-points around a body:
of water, bodies mostly are
water, you can only wait, drink, smoke

close the curtains
on that asexual moon or tide

won’t ebb like uneven boundaries
suggestive of fear around 
subsidiary colours, by association

the purpose of drift is to push
at the moment leap blue

sharp edge of an ice wave grazes
one heel however its dimensions
are not dissimilar from those of parachutes
that land wild thoughts, some which

will die, your unleashed ones
in an upside down turn of place
where you must breathe on your hands


reach into the hands of others
to pull whatever’s in there free from the frame. 



(after Suzi’s Sun by Joseph Cornell)

And another thing I didn’t say, that the downward spikes
of the sun’s boxed rays will usually temporarily replace
the climate of an average human being’s face so that if
your arrival is precise and timely, your aspect fair, and
you’ve surmised the first few rules of pitch and roll,
you’ll navigate an empty patch of land, plant two yellow
pennants, launch a flare that dies in painted cirrus, inch
towards a glass that’s clean, a shell that’s lodged in air.
Next time I’ll tell you more about the bench; the wooden
ball. This much is truth for now. That’s all.



 Hope at 4am
 (after Yves Tanguy)

not in fact as a weightless bird
which has just taken flight
nor a cliff of layered stone—

this is a sea-air scene
and the sleep you’ve laid to rest
flashes past like clouds

or, as Breton said, writing about dreams
can only exist as a form of love

which must be the way that this
slows to a form like suspicion
then reverts back to hope again




Melancholy and Mystery of a Street
(after Georgio de Chirico)


She’s a shadow herself, though the hoop’s solid.
Out of the diminishing returns of arched doorways
she’s close behind.
          Beware tall encroaching citizens. Beware
the colonnade of sunlight.  Beware tense isometric shapes
like the wagon with the deceptive inner space
which isn’t space at all but flat boxed lines you’d run into
at a walk even.
          Doesn’t she know her world
is about to crack along invisible seams, will drift


We knew. We saw how the buildings behaved, defying the horizon;
windows, black, sheared-off.  We cannot blame the artist. This is no inability
to master the laws of perspective; ‘this non-sense’, he’d say, ‘is, in fact life’,
looking for all the world like an egg with the likelihood of allowing itself
to be broken and spill runny yellow life over our fingers.

We, the metaphysicians, would approve.




Copyright © Pam Thompson, 2016..