Matters Arising

Did you know that if you don’t speak
in the first ten minutes, you actually cease
to exist?

The fat of the universe will eat itself and you
will be a breathless speck,
rattling a pencil.

So speak, repeat the bloodless phrase
from the one before, just declare it backwards,
clutching a heart copy of Roget,

Upgrade on proactive, prove you’ll never
drip away on a laser beam into the baseless night,
Right, yes you are back in the room.

Saying your mind, crimson ticks
on a queasy sheet, you sound like an empty tin
but you are in and you are so so here,

They can hear your lungs inflate from four sandal-chairs away,
now you’ve said, your voice, your way
so distant from your pastoral symphony insides,

it’s time to speak again and make it known
that though you say what already went,
you are not touring exec-insignif,

You are at home and every light is on,
you blaze much brighter than the Jones,
the tone is set for one day in the parlour chair,

Where you trace back to crossed ts and one undotted i,
and paper-smirk at all that talk
when you were cced on adventure,

and your imagination held a graceful paw to you
asking come with me, onto a dark safari,
instead you chose to speak.



Tessa Foley’s debut poetry collection ‘Chalet Between Thick Ears’ was published by Live Canon in 2018. She has been recognised in the Ware Poets Competition, Charroux Prize and Arts University Bournemouth Poetry Prize. Her new collection “What Sort of Bird are You?” was launched by Live Canon in May 2021.