Question & Answer 6 – Robert Peake

Question 6

When I started these interviews,
these correspondences,
I always wrote about home
or the lack thereof.
Some gnawing doubt
that I would never find a warm bed
somewhere within a safe space.
I wrote a whole series
about St Day Road
where I grew up,
turned it into a short film.
Moved onto Richards Crescent –
which I work through at night now.
Will find myself in Mitchell Court
I think I’ve found home,
here in a place on the outskirts
of Truro.
In a place I don’t care to live
with a girl I will always a love
and a child I will soon meet.
I guess home really is where the heart
not where the luxuries exist.
So tell me, Robert,
where is home to you?

– Aaron Kent

Answer 6

Home is the place I never write. When what was once familiar now feels strange, that is the strangest feeling of all. Who are these people, carrying their duke on a litter, and lions in cages to release into the chambers of the Senate? How can I look them in the eye, and say the word, “countrymen”? Home is any place our animal selves can defend. Home is a wall, when you are within it. Between wanderlust and home-longing, a soul is forged. One day the decision to exhale will be final. Meanwhile, we choose our leaders based on how much they frighten our enemies. How quick we were to judge those who could not turn back the gears of history. We forget with each new birth the necessity of kindness, bursting from our mothers’ wounds, already smeared with blood. The slate is dusted clean by galactic clock-makers who see the near-collision of planets as a quaint, irresistible game. We have exhausted the gamut of possibilities. Now the tumblers fall into place within the lock. The lies that sound like common sense are painted in ever-larger letters overhead. (Since the truth is a footnote for scholars and other élites.) Let the record show: I was exiled years after I left.

– Robert Peake