“Difficult Laughter” by Olivia McCannon

by on 30/01/13 at 9:38 am

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Is what there is between a funeral and The Awful Truth
The bit where the dog . . .? Where Cary Grant . . .?

They dredge up out of your guts, those bits
Something like a body hauled from the river in nets

One that retches and sicks up mud, miraculously
Not drowned, though perch-coloured compared

To peach-eaters, one that feels gratitude as pain
As it warms again to ways unpractised in that place

A body that came back mouthing small bubbles but
Now extravagantly orders up so much air it sticks

Then must kick the voice-box to get a track –
A barked cross between a climax and a hard cough

A body clinging to cold-wrapping river weeds
A family of limbs and organs that aren’t speaking

A body shaken by laughter, that defibrillator
Shocking them, for a second, back together.

Olivia McKannon

Ernest Hilbert

Ernest Hilbert is founder of E-Verse Radio.

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