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AMY KEY

THREE POEMS




1. THREE SUMMERS

[i]

It was pleasant to have idle thoughts

it was summer underneath upholstered sky
the sky in its dog furs, wadding come loose.

It was summer and bracelets were again so vogue
and we were singling but gorgeous
in spite of the doggy sky. The damp smell
we sank from.

The alleys were boulevards to roll pennies down,
privet was crimped like unplaited hair,
rhubarb slummed along the hem of the backyard.
Dust ever more prominent, louche as a cider pop.
Nothing’s clean in the heat.


[ii]

                   my head is like the stem of coral
on my Grandparent’s mantelpiece        a bloom of coral
so accustomed to dust                         to being admired
to being wondered at                            why have such a thing so at slant
with eiderdown and crochet                  or your head
was intended                for underwater                   was intended
for sky gazing                                        for the partial sea within


[iii]

to be a daisy-eater
to be a precocious weed
to be lost in the grass
skin crazing like a glaze
to be swollen, swallowed, to be swooned over
one-piece, two-piece, to be a piece
to be always in the dawn
nude as ice in the water







2. SENSORY NOTES ON STEVE REICH,
   MUSIC FOR 18 MUSICIANS

                [For Tom]

this was an obstinate dream..............................
beautiful & hyper.................................................
my pulse.............................................................
a darling vigilante…………………………............
violins planed ……….……………………............
a bitter thought in me……….……………....…....
my heart was hopscotch…………………...........
I was a girl…..………………………………..........
chasing her own blood….……………………......
my breath…………………………………..............
the soft metronome………………………...…......
I heard [female voice]……………………...….......
a sudden mist………………………………..........
time just segments……………………………......
my hands were in damp earth……………..…....
my throat a whitening knuckle………………......
my hands held up in terrific & expansive rain.....
I was not afraid…………………………….….......
I knew microscopic feelings………………….......
felt the valleys of my fingerprints…………..….....
the sounds were curds of sunlight ………….......
falling through………………………………...........
a lucid penny-falls-of-me…………...……..…......
I was awake & unbearably beloved…………......
it ended…………………………………….…........
my brain was a mirror unclouding………….…....
my ears ingenious…………………………….......
& I their protégé……………………………...........





3. ONLY INSTEAD OF A STAR

               

                A Cento [Mabel Evelyn Key]


it must be very beautiful
the place i’d like to spend my life in
because loneliness
is my new summer rigour
is all my own work
is the prettiest i’ve ever had
because loneliness
is the common task
my only pal
i believe i’m getting morbid
i often did without
some things that happen
seeing things
is too much for my intelligence
everything seems very awful
quaint, pretty little thing
like other girls
i hope you never know
what it is to be lonely
and sad
all day & every day
cured of infatuation
not a soul remembered
my intelligence






Amy Key's first collection Luxe (Salt Modern Poets) was published in 2013. Her pamphlet History, was published by If A Leaf Falls Press in 2016. She co-edits Poems in Which. ‘Three Summers’ first appeared in Ambit; ‘Sensory Notes on Steve Reich, Music for 18 Musicians’ was the result of a commission for Rough Trade Magazine, responding to one of their ‘essential’ albums; ‘Only Instead of a Star’ first appeared in Roulade - A Walk Through Journal. These three pieces are collected here online in Hotel for the first time. 




2017.