Vahni Capildeo's Measures of Expatriation (Carcanet, 2016)
Here are some favourite passages from this dense, rich collection:
Had the ecstatic efficiency of its heart thumped to a stop?
from "Fire & Darkness: And Also / No Join / Like"
Their aura of sociability expanded, spreading with a faint juddering as they drew near.
He was an infant Perseus. He was cause; the rest of the world, effect.
I could not finish the loaf. It was a hungry thing. There was too much time in it.
from "Too Solid Flesh"
We're readied by
being gone again.
end of "María Lloró / Blue Sky Tears"
The window, who believes in this poem
it is the only thing personified;
grieving after wholeness....
from "Neomarica Sky Jet"
essentially solitudinous yet
from "Cities in Step"
spill truth like marrow from bones, gleaming on stone-strewn ground.
Day persisted, eggshell and semiprecious. I could not see with whom, but we had to keep up.
We left town where town had given up on being town.
from "The Book of Dreams / Livre de Cauchemars"
...the wide, one-eyed mercy of a lake....
Bring me to your son, blossoming in his cradle.
from "Snake in the Grass"
Every word an exhalation, a driving-out.
last line of "In 2190, Albion's Civil Conflicts Finally
Divided Along Norman-Saxon Lines"
Expatriation: my having had a patria, a fatherland, to leave, did not occur to me until I was forced to invent one.
Migrant is cerulean and khaki and it has a lot to say for itself once encamped temporarily by a river that will do.
...aspirational, windowgazing, briefly guttering lives. The imposition of this house feels more impersonal, like rain.
Recognition: can it happen? Can a family survive it?
from "All Your Houses"
Launch in sighted
darkness our pack of languages, fluid as hounds,
all ready: bathed: riteful: already intending chase
end of "Sycorax Whoops"