‘nothing’ by Andrew McMillan

which is really the sound of everything     slowly

if you write poetry and are even passably handsome
my heart will pretend it loves you for a while
all I know is      the first empty bed
for weeks      the first tea of morning
the man who was scared of paper was papyrophobic
as though making something unpronounceable diminishes it’s horror
the sunset is national      politics is local
except when it demands a foreignsand incursion
all I know is      the dark street
a doorman with a secret      sometimes rain
sometimes a fine mist that sticks
to your hat as you walk
the world is full of false profundity
I can smell myself in these shoes
my love for you could fill four poems
of differing quality and metre

the country is a ship
and the north is sinking

all I know is      the room      the piano nobody
wanted to play and nobody wants to be rid of
there is an ending in translation I want you to read
       and he picked up the object of great beauty
       and he dropped it      and the pieces
       were like the scattered peoples of a pogrom
       and he pointed to the broken people scattered
       on the floor      and named them ‘poem’

Andrew McMillan’s pamphlet, the moon is a supporting player was published by Red Squirrel Press in 2011, a new long poem, Protest of the Physical is due from Holdfire Press in late 2012. He works as a freelance writer and is a poetry tutor at Edge Hill University. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewPoetry

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