fbpx

The poem

The Architect by Claire Collison

The Architect

by Claire Collison

He slams the eel
on a nail he’s hammered
into wood outside,

hammered to the wall
of the hut by the lake,
where the nets, where the traps, where they caught —

He slams the eel
onto the nail in the wood
with his fist outside the house

that’s a boat
(they live on a boat by a lake,
but not on the lake).

They sweat in a sauna on the edge of the lake,
ladling pine water to steam as they sweat
pine sweat.

The wood is pine, the hut is pine,
on a lake,
in a pine wood.

Inside, they carve bowl inside
bowl inside bowl,
to a nest of curve and grain —

to the smallest, so all they lose
is a plug that fits a night light: fire
inside wood inside;

outside, lake and wood,
a jetty and a motor boat;
plastic floats

to mark the nets
he used to trap
the eel he will peel.

He slams the eel on the nail,
cuts an incision below
the slit, wraps a collar

of newspaper for purchase, tugs
down, like a bell ringer — both hands,
tears the silver black.

The skin comes off in one.

Claire Collison is a writer, artist and educator whose work spans photography, poetry, performance, installation, and participatory events. More info at clairecollison.com. The above poem was a prize-winning entry in the inaugural Resurgence Poetry Prize in 2015

More Like This

Get a free copy of our print edition

Arts & Culture

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Your email address will not be published. The views expressed in the comments below are not those of Perspective. We encourage healthy debate, but racist, misogynistic, homophobic and other types of hateful comments will not be published.