Increments | Instruments. A poem by Alicia Byrne Keane

After Alexandra Kleeman’s short story ‘You, Disappearing’

Where is my little bronze coffee press? It has
to be staring me in the face. I scan surfaces,
keep expecting to see light curve inside its
bulbed part. I’ve reinhabited this house at a
slant so there are all kinds of silent eddies, I
foolishly swallowed the pencil sketch skirting
the coloured-in areas. So maybe there are other
surfaces underneath these surfaces, pink and
raw. Maybe some things cannot sustain their
curves nor their impression of opulence. I open
the dishwasher and it seems so orthodontic to
me, its damp trays sliding: not there, anyway.
This house has been my world for weeks, my
house has been this world for weeks, my world
has been this house for weeks, this world has
been my house for weeks. So with no outside
to lose things in, the things lose themselves,
begin to stage hedonisms in secret societies.
Down the sides of the couch TV remotes drift
their sudden bluntness, containing something.
If you put your ear too close to the seams of
certain cushions you occasionally hear music.


Honours degree in English Literature and French from Trinity College Dublin and a MSt. in English Literature 1900-Present from Oxford University. She is working on an Irish Research Council-funded PhD study that problematizes ‘vagueness’ and the ethics of translation in the work of Samuel Beckett and Haruki Murakami, at TCD. Her poems have been published in The Moth, Entropy, Abridged, and The Honest Ulsterman, among others. She has performed at Electric Picnic, Body & Soul, and Lingo Festival, and has had two spoken word performances recorded for Balcony TV.

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