Jen_Crawford_Headshot_smallJen Crawford is a New Zealand poet who coordinates the Creative Writing Programme at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Her poetry collections include Bad Appendix, Pop Riveter and Napoleon Swings. New work can be found in Axon 5, Brief 49 and Shearsman 95 & 96. 






when dalliance returns, the one after the other, dallying
while dallying     who’ll

for the token a night gathers pools
pool a woman carrying children into
citronella gathers to its pools a whistle, sailing

night arrow across the track’s prepared
burnishment absorbing the election’s
sweat through to the presidential election’s absorbing
the porous rubber collects,

radio interns a racetrack, pinned
inhaling a sterile water,

in ballooning and extinguishing colonies evenly
making a sugar-burn esophagus crackle
like chlorine; like forest fire like chlorine.
forest fire.

breath pools. chlorine cohabits
in a form of indonesia through the opening vessel.
fires for the palm through the opening

to the cordial, flicking cards
at snapping light. the horses rear

crackling mosquitoes. and should they
go round mosquito death too.
or around the light oneoneone two.


a tempo (implicit memory)

these two silk birds are frayed and then it touches them. these two
frayed silk birds. into the river diving and emerging. one such silk
is a cracked river stone and this is the surface of its silk, the green
surface of its time in that silk time, its water. you could cut your foot
on that accurate division. if you weren’t aware. you could lay
your hand on it and feel the sharpness aware in your hand.
these silk birds come down from the leaves of the grey way up
on the edge of the cliff, they come down to the water to drink. they
fly past the roots that break the cliff and through the stone cuts water.
absolutely slowly and too fast to see. so holds acceleration in array.
where when the riverbed bares its posture and then softens, there
go into the memory of water, into the likely inclination of future
water. and these forms will get undone. by their full registration
of pressure, heat and sound. into holding together, into dry and
adrift. the dive is whole into each particle, held or adrift.