temporary lodging

as good a place as any       where the book
just falls open       mid-sentence       to start
here       & subvert the order      far

from the madding       & hardly
a stone standing       cities we’d imagined
way off the beaten       the word is out

let’s follow that as far as it’ll take us
to the edge where even the largest continent
crumbles       how do we bear this

awakening       here       where you come from
you told me once       before the noise begins
at first light you can hear the lions in the zoo

all over the city       you cried remembering
here at least the windows are watertight
for the time being       we can take our chance

by Catherine Hales

Copyright © Catherine Hales, 2010.

‘temporary lodging’ is taken from the volume hazard or fall, and reprinted by permission of Shearsman Books.

Notes courtesy of Shearsman Books:

Catherine Hales grew up near the Thames in Surrey and (after a few years in Norwich and Stuttgart) now lives near the Spree in Berlin, where she works as a freelance translator. Her poetry and translations of contemporary German poetry have appeared in many magazines, including ShearsmanTears in the FencePoetry Salzburg ReviewFireStrideHaiku QuarterlyGreat Works and Shadowtrain. She is a co-organiser of Poetry Hearings, the Berlin festival of English-language poetry, and has been described (by ExBerliner magazine) as a “Berlin poetry heavyweight”. Her pamphlet out of time appeared in 2006; hazard or fall is her first full-length collection, and her work also appears in the anthology Infinite Difference. Her translation of Norbert Hummelt’s Selected Poems, Berlin Fresco, also appears in 2010. You can find out more about Catherine Hales here, and read more poems from her book here.

Shearsman Books is a very active publisher of new poetry, mostly from Britain and the USA, but also with an active translation list. You can learn more about the publisher here.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.