Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Elena Karina Byrne: Marlene Dumas : World Evil is Banal

I stood up, willed for nothing. I looked into this liquid mirror until she 

looked back & remembered me holding out the scissors like albatross wings, 

this face off frame. It becomes first-hand easy parse & pain, has its hands in 

there, in the far & near rib & waist girth measurements I’m familiar with, 

the soul-sinkhole that houses these rake feelings. It’s familiar. It’s old family. 

What you have once done, common as a warehouse full of flat hand-sized moths 

clouding the high windows, keeping the coughed-up quiet. Measurement there. 

An appetite for it, for death & wet sex in us, the clear & present danger collaboration 

between two or more people. I punchbowl-float on the sea sleep & pray no error there 

remains, keeps them family all together in the same room just long to kill a burden you 

can still believe in. You can female smudge long enough for. Genetic longing pulls hard at 

my ponytail, keeps me out of dusk’s spilled gold & flies in the hayloft corral nightly. I 

am as unprecedented as precise as a staircase creak: know this & keep it close to you as 

quarreling in the mind: there’s an act like a stone in a drawer, a thought, said ordinary.


Copyright 2019 Elena Karina Byrne

Elena Karina Byrne’s publications include Squander (Ominidawn, 2016).

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This entry was posted on October 16, 2019 by in Poetry and tagged , , .

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