LUCY VAN #1: The Paper

Artwork by Mohini

A red beret

—Oblonsky’s image

He could have had an heiress but

he had to have this

a young Liz Taylor, national velvet

No opera as

unerring, estranged

 

She sets Tennyson’s poems to

the window

of the sticky post-Granville carriage

Green brightening the north-bound line

Whoop! Time’s woman of the future

It stinks in here

 

‘I’m very sorry but

would you mind/

I’m going out of my mind/

could you lend me your

paper?’

 

and she folds it unfinished

—Fairfax or News, what else was there back in the—?

I give words, they have words, someone shuts the door

Not in Shanghai or Bangkok or KL but the—

(Look, Shy-Di is on the horizon, with

that sweater like this view)

 

‘when you are finished?’

he migrates across the aisle

he sits and reads well he can’t read much English, but

French, Russian, oh!

not a line, you should see my valise

well how else do you learn? he sits and reads the whole

bloody thing

he’ll say anything, quick to a joke

nodding, laughing, it’s already won

page print on welder’s thumbs that hitched a ride all

the way a jungle of tea and

hungry sea

to this very girl

 

I’m going out of my mind, would you

do you ‘have anywhere to go?’

do you ‘know anybody there?’

if you ‘want’

do you ever imagine funny things?

how do you do?s

a young Elizabeth Taylor

and primo Bruce Lee have words

work it out on paper, the paper is

returned and sweating in her lady grip

conscious and lucid before the weight is removed

 
 

Lucy Van
Lucy Van 4 Articles
Lucy writes about poetry and photography. She is a post-doctoral researcher in the English and Theatre Studies program at the University of Melbourne, and an editor at Cordite Poetry Review. Lucy also writes lyric and prose poems, and has set words to music with Coastal Shelf, Leo James and Laila Sakini.