Three poems from Claire Trévien’s Low Tide Lottery

Low Tide Lottery
I’d been hearing lots of great things about Claire’s debut pamphlet, Low Tide Lottery, out now from Salt, for a while and having had a chance to read it found it an elegant, finely crafted thing. Here are three of several early favourites from the collection:

The Swan

After Baudelaire

Swan! I think of you as I cross the gutter.
It’s 9 a.m., so it is sweating trash: cans float
down the street like toy boats.
I look at its flow, like a useless mirror.

I am being followed by a weary German shepherd,
I spotted him a while ago walking through a stream
of commuters, soaked and slow, his head hanging low.
He is stalking, or being stalked,
large enough to hunt, but seeming haunted.

A lonely dog should be less incongruous than a swan
but he seems like a god transformed and wandering.
He has no Leda as far as I can tell.

The others barely glance at his mass as they overtake, their eyes
have been trained by beggars to stare at the middle distance.

They have been trained, but my eyes still look down and up,
like dizzy bugs at a light bulb who get stung and burned, but still

Not dulled enough to look away,
not brave enough to open my purse.

You worried at the changes of the city, I worry at its grinding halt,
at the monotony that seems to congeal the most buoyant animal.

previously published in The Warwick Review

L’Air du Temps

As we counted the two diamonds missing
from the cross, I was carried up to the mirror
and told: “one of them is Lou, darling”.

The bottle attracted first, with its embracing
doves, a fragile alabaster-kind creation, almost
transparent, yet palpable. “This one is her too
and the other one’s Barney, before”.

Her heart beats in someone else’s body now
whilst Barney breaks and decays.

It doesn’t stop the doves from kissing,
nor the bottle from opening, releasing
the perfume, free to haunt still.

The Naked House

We used to live at quatre, rue de la gare.
There was no more station by then, or tracks,
or trains, but there was our house.
The buses stank next door; we’d see
their leviathan mass disappear
down traps and never return.

The olive shutters always peeled,
stripped green, curtained by ivy.
When quatre, rue de la gare was sold
the shutters were painted new,
ready to be unwrapped again.

Visit Claire’s own site, the review site she edits and see more from her at Peony Moon

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