Tamar Yoseloff was born in the US in 1965 and lives in London, where she teaches creative writing for The Poetry School. She is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Fetch, published by Salt in 2007, as well as Marks, a collaborative book with the artist Linda Karshan, published by Pratt Contemporary Art. She was the editor of A Room to Live In: A Kettle’s Yard Anthology. Her upcoming collection, The City with Horns, is due from Salt in May 2011,and features a sequence informed by the life and work of the artist Jackson Pollock.
Please visit Tamar Yoseloff’s website: www.tamaryoseloff.com
Beyond the ridge the ferry
reflects itself, then departs
like the men who built this,
rock on rock, where it has fallen—
will fall—into the sea.
This is the old flat world,
cornered by a serpent and a devil,
temples still cling to the hills,
altars broken, doors flung wide
to goats. Nothing
but goats. Their bells
clack like bones, kokalo, kokalo,
as our boots tramp the dungcaked stone,
their weird cries, like a child’s,
the white and porous middle of day
White the entrance to the cave
which encases us in icewater.
White the swifts that wheel and skiff from the cave’s dark mouth
to bright midday.
White the boat that’s going nowhere,
waves cast gold against its prow.
White the underwater stones which shoal a field of tiny minnows,
bones feathering under translucent skin.
White the oleander,
the halo of the saint in the shrine that hugs the mountain.
White the crumbling feta, loaf of bread,
salty fish we eat while talking.
White the salt that coats our skin
as we rise up from the sea.
Poetry in this post: © Tamar Yoseloff
Published with the permission of Tamar Yoseloff