[Poetry] — DS Maolalai

The blaze of the sun

burning 
from an office-block window; 
a road under 
pressing cast iron
and stove-top, stretching and grey
like a finger to pavement, fired
with natural light.

Fallen light

light lands on fenceposts 
and rooftop side cappings like snow.
I wake up each morning – 
look out at the sunlight 
saying “ah, did it snow today,
or am I not wearing
my glasses?” 
usually
it’s glasses, and anyway
you get up earlier – 
I know if it snowed 
you’d have woke me. 
I get dressed with the window-
blinds open; if anyone looked in
they might see my chest
and my belly. my window faces
the courtyard; nobody’s out
this morning. they’re indoors, sitting at tables, drinking coffee
to warm themselves up. sun-up,
cold-bright in january, shiny 
as freezer-frost.
a bird lands a moment 
on the windowsill.
makes footprints in thick 
fallen light.

The carpenter.

me at 27 
almost 28 – 
I thought 
when I started this
I’d have done 
10 books by now,
with regular readings
to get over my fright
at performance. free booze
nightly
and witty asides
on the radio. girls all
in love with me. boys too,
sure – but girls
the incentive. friends;
novelists
college professors. the young upstart
in the new world of poetry. 

instead
I come in 
and tap out
these sentences
each evening for free
on the internet
to anyonewilling to read
(which means 
of course
that no-one does).
and competition
such as no athlete 
has known.

like a carpenter
putting together
a serviceable table
and walking home 
to watch college kids
maneuvering a sofa
they found on the corner,
abandoned 
for anyone
to have.

*

DS Maolalai has been nominated four times for Best of the Net and three times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been published in two collections, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden (Encircle Press, 2016) and Sad Havoc Among the Birds (Turas Press, 2019).