Two Poems | Astrid Alben | Granta Magazine

Two Poems

Astrid Alben

‘High up in atmosphere, vertigo intact inside Vodka & Lime’

Vodka & Lime   

High up in atmosphere, vertigo intact inside Vodka & Lime.
Lifejacket stashed under front seat checked foot underneath me

spins planet Earth. Oilrigs, tankers, pleasure craft, the accident
in 1995 which is why I have a crooked smile, thin strip of coast

estuaries see those legolicious houses — if I had a big house big
enough to fit I’d have to leave because there’d be no room for me.

I could easily fly like this a longlong time but the captain won’t
tell won’t tell he won’t tell I yell where my wings are.


Herky Jerky

The elevator up and down the ages rocks like a dinosaur
shifts mountain-springs iron ore its weight from left to right —

I’m the sudden coolness in the air. I’m coming down like rain
the kind the eye can see like Poet playing air guitar everything

(love, home, envy and regret) is a complex of occasions
like my mother playing Solitaire. She listens to the radio.

Only she’s not there. She’s up she’s down shifts her chair
will crash into the Earth in thirty billion years from now.


Photograph © wanderflechten

Astrid Alben

Astrid Alben’s poems are from her forthcoming collection Plainspeak, which captures the dialogues between ‘I’ and her alter ego ‘Poet’. Alben’s recent collection Ai! Ai! Pianissimo was published by Arc Publications (2011).

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