Question & Answer 2 – Kirsten Irving

Question 2

You might have five ways to comfort a kitten
but I want eight ways to hold hands with an octopus,
or seventeen different ways to share secrets
with the lost vampires of Macedonia.
My grandfather’s headstone will probably read:
‘Not really Aaron’s Grandad’.
Because he wasn’t, Amanda, and I am not part-Hungarian.
His blood is not my blood as my mother told me,
two weeks before I leapt in a submarine.
Today your marathon run could burn down
with all the impact of a drunken stumble.
Today you could eat your way through Scotland,
all of it never yours, never ours, never mine.
If Scotland is not yours, then whose is it?
It wasn’t mine when I lived near Glasgow
and held it tight as I wore its traffic cones
upon my architect’s head.
I wish it was mine.
I miss Hungary.
I miss Scotland.
I miss Kent.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 2

Let’s miss it all. The names we might have had.
The blood and costume and scandal of our families.
Let’s play being alone; it’s what drives
– oh boy – everything after all,
this terror of alleys, of empty space.
The lip between here and madness
is so slim. It would be easy
without others around, to step right over,
drown, drop down.
To defeat the moon, I meet it halfway,
play deranged. I play a card game for one,
inventing a boyfriend eight foot tall,
fang by fang, scale by scale.
I call him Carcass and paint him copper.
Then I wheel out a times-more-awful me
so there is one, one I can point to,
and start my – our – sad diary.

The cards were made by a naked female giant.
The cards came from Poland.
The giant waits there.

– Kirsten Irving