By Autumn Royal
29 October, 2021
Autumn Royal is Running Dog’s poet in residence for September and October 2021.
Each month, a poet produces new work, which is distributed via Running Dog’s monthly newsletter—Stray. If you haven’t already, sign up to our newsletter.
• • •
Listen to Autumn read this poem.
‘Sometimes it feels like it is over and it’s not.
Sometimes it feels like it has just begun and it’s over.’ — Juliana Spahr
This whole account will be written for you — yet will barely be
about you and so — O, I’m in dispute with these words, distracted
by the task of detailing flowers — bouquets brimming in escape
poses with rosette trimmings — weighted by childhood, the upbringing
of it all — dominating the core of this figure, this form — never priceless
or refundable. Tell me this is terrible, and I’ll believe it — not for need
but for the sake of it — it’s all for the sake of it — an idea, an empty
bladder, a chamber to fill. The frills of naivety render me as unkind
as the assumption anyone has ever been innocent — with a window beside
a bed overlooking a lake to bathe in — after a breakfast of poached pears
and cream, stalks left intact — a cinnamon quill endlessly bobbing about
the boil. And while we evaporate into things that keep happening — a poet
may be positioned in front of a grand piano — they cannot play. No matter
what’s requested to be read, some poems will enter streets — I hope for more.