Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

‘madonna’: a poem by Charlie Baylis




there’s no art in america, it’s all sugar & war.
- sophie robinson


i wake up dreaming i’ve made it
here in new york        i’ve made it        everywhere
dreaming of myself as a cheerleader
the tassels of my glittering pom-poms are unblemished lines of philosophy
the blue sky shines & shades through blinds
the blue sky is grace kelly’s eyes
in my bed where there is no art but sugar & war adorn rhetorical walls
& maybe i can tell you a secret about the strength of these bedposts
& maybe i can’t
at the heart of sophie’s poem is sadness
the still water below which the poem sinks
is sadness
nothing hurts more than loving somebody who doesn’t love you

the film ends & another film begins
but it is the same film
wrapped up in the rhetorical walls we walk through
i notice a picture of a poet eating breakfast in berlin
the summer before he died
i think of their curious friendship
the music of his voice burning holes in the ceiling
the music of her voice burning holes in the ceiling
i think of sunny days kayaking down the hudson
into the arms of another new york to the one you knew
where partisans are gathering butterflies
along the meadows of the highway
beneath the beautiful lights of the lower east side

today offers a fraction of what you won’t be returned tomorrow
the branches which held suicides are full of life
green & yellow leaves jangling in the sun
canaries carrying the ocean in their beaks
will find a new river
once the old one evaporates        into the clouds of grace kelly’s eyes
this is the part where you arrive home & close the door
blow out every candle on the cake
turn out the lights
& everything is forgotten