Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sarah St Vincent Welch #2 cleaning out the monster cupboard

(This is very new and may relate to the collection about objects, memory and tidying up,  I wanted it to, but it got darker than I expected, I am interested in observations around global meanings, impressions) 

two doors open they are the maw of childhood
the cupboard’s bottom drawer tilts deep, teeters

inside hangs a tunic dry cleaned stiff
a faded tie frayed red ribbon musty white dress
twisted wire hangers mothy banners scattered jigsaw  

toy gun paper doll sheep knuckles a marble like an eye
put them in a shopping bag and wipe away the mould
these things were kept to remember to discard to empty out

the cupboard is up for auction the removalist’s
engine is running its doors are open inside it
lived Mr Nobody Mr Punch Mr Santa Mr Devil

the phantoms in the hall stagger, fists up

out steps the cupboard creature neon eyed goat
horned upright like a man furry as a bear two legs two arms
like a man, the phantoms pause, the monster

out he stepped he stepped into the room
walked like a man towards the bed through the night
each night the shift of shadow in the hall, the light turned on shush


  1. great resonances with me
    in a life that seems to be constantly packing, unpacking ...
    so much haunting to deal with

    all these creatures collect around us
    I think they might be more scared of us
    than we should be of them

  2. It has to be the childhood home! Only there can you find that stuff from the past and also those scary beings, maybe parents. A lovely piece, so evocative.

  3. It is the childhood home for sure, which I have had access to for a lot longer than many, and it is finally going. Such turmoil and complications this brings. It is like living simultaneously in many different times, which is maybe what we do through memory anyway. But it is more apparent to me at the moment. Heightened. And the creatures feel like they have been let loose, and also feel like they never existed. I don' know if I can feel sorry for them, but it is an interesting observation indeed, Kit. I feel sorry for the poor decayed objects. The creatures/monsters and phantoms are aspects of the people who lived there. Thank you!

  4. I guess the scary things become like an empty husk, like a cicada shell left behind.

  5. I love the way the pace accelarates in this poem, the sounds are great too, and I've had this experience you so well describe when my grandfather died and I had to go up to the ceiling of his cottage in the countryside... I discovered an almost museum up there! So yes phantoms, devils were there with the old rusting-decaying things .. .. And "the light turned on shush" is such a beautiful ending!