The Spaces Between
Updated: Jul 7, 2020
The Spaces Between
I show my house the pictures of you
ask it if it remembers when you lived closer
when you were a frequent guest. I feel the ache and the strain
of a house trying to uproot itself, as if
it were some great, lazy dog trying to find the will to move
twitching its tail in a futile attempt
to attract attention to itself.
I, too, wish I could find some way to reach you
that doesn’t require the enormous effort it takes to get to the airport
or make plans that involve weeks and weeks of my life in advance.
These are fragile excuses, ones
I don’t dare speak aloud. Instead, I tell the house
you’ll be back someday
to sit on my couch and fill these empty rooms
with your stories and your laughter
and it will be so wonderful that it will be as if
you’d never left.
Woman Hiding From Her Husband as He Tries to Fix Her Brakeline
makes a story for the rain,
holds her hands over her ears,
allows her eyes to glaze
as sunlight fades away, she
makes excuses for the
storm, hides her head beneath the
dirt, pretends to sleep, deaf
to the crashing sounds, she
waits, inside, cautious
of the returning storm,
creeps outside, slow at noon,
picks up the beer cans.
My husband says he hates this house
And its rough edges
And the bad memories
I don’t know what he’s talking about.
At dinner, I give pointed lectures to our daughter
About how you get from life what you put into it
How if you think the world is shit, your world will be shit.
My husband doesn’t seem to know I’m talking to him
And tells our daughter maybe she should smile every once in a while
Not be such a sourpuss.
My husband says he hates this life
Doesn’t know what he did to deserve
A wife like me
A family like ours
A house like this
I tell him he must have really fucked up in his last life
This is the shit-end of karma.
last night I dreamed about your fingers on my flesh
my body too small to take your words anymore,
I am not your handpuppet, mister last night I
screamed myself awake to putrid memories of you
the linoleum pattern of the laundryroom
floor your anticipation festers inside of
me, I am not as fucking stupid as you think
With the precision of a surgeon and the hand of a craftsman, Pole Ka draws bodies, dissects them, flays them, and composes their sharp images. She misleads her strange characters through imaginary landscapes, grotesque scenes. Visions straight out of a cabinet of curiosities take shape; here mix animals, insects, plants, hybrid and monstrous characters, summoning medicine and religion; it is an Encyclopedia of ancient bestiaries, evoking the paintings of Bosch and Cranach, the surreal collages of Ernst or Štyrský and the anonymous illuminations of the Middle Ages.
In addition, Pole Ka works alongside the companions of micr0lab, who are scattered around the world, to publish and peddle deviant fanzines, impossible games, creaky vinyls, and to organize epic evenings of drowning music.
Extravagant anatomies, disappeared pathologies, desolate landscapes: Pole Ka engraves her own history of Woman and her sufferings, draws a taxonomy inhabited by androgynous ghosts with troubled sexuality, and prints the plans of a collapsing world.
Holly Day's poetry has recently apperaed in Asimov's Science Fiction, Grain, and Harvard Review. Her newest poetry collections are Where We Went Wrong (Clare Songbirds Publishing), Into the Cracks (Golden Antelope Press), Cross Referencing a Book of Summer (Silver Bow Publishing), and The Tooth is the Largest Organ in the Human Body (Anaphora Literary Press).