Dorothy Lehane

Poems from Bettbehandlung [Bedrest]

when they talk of capacity what they are really discussing is how alive you are to the possibility of being dead | & not obsession | not being besieged by cyclical thoughts | make sure the audience beholds you | not your gown | reality is an alloy of perception & time hardening | what an annus mirabilis | to talk of capacity is to commit to obscurantism | such is la terroriste | one electrode is placed on each temple | or two electrodes on one temple | “capacity” as a unilateral or bilateral predicament | capacity as I’m in listening mode | capacity as in “nunhood” | capacity as imposter | very little haecciety | beware capacity | in all it’s troubled mythos

and so we live | and are always taking leave | always dilating | fivefold movements decomposing | overlook the manacles | pathological note-making | freedom versus coercion | we must apply a perturbing method | to break the spasm by means of the spasm | we must break their pride | be free of the doldrums | the doldrums lead to being chained | to a tree | or to marriage | that endocrine stressor | such difficulty with utterance | humours out of whack | only in certain lights is it bile related | in other lights there is the question of what to do with fantasies | & the bacterial stream | three humoral signs | see how they come | with insulin shock therapy | & with coma

since you are determined to make her a medicalised body | keep the limbic system in a state of shock | & though officially it does not seem to happen | it happens | very very body centred | I’m not fitting into the body war | teeth apart | we want our teeth gone | we want our beauty hectic | & who mourns those spaces | those sanctioned spaces | describe the people who created you | using two words | unemotional & blasé | my little sook-dancette | decumbiture | the glut force common in old old french | sunwise withershins so vulnerable like withershins | beware of the water | beware of other cities | horse-godmother help me | help with my hereness & nowness

Dorothy Lehane is the author of three poetry publications: Umwelt (Leafe Press, 2016), Ephemeris (Nine Arches Press, 2014) and Places of Articulation (dancing girl press, 2014). She teaches Creative Writing at the University of Kent.

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