To all my own     this cattle museum     I am the final sleep
I refuse to translate language into breath
The sorrow of the latest ZYX epic fandango     LMNOP travesty

This is the few of the something somewhat better
than the something not so much

(While sinners quake)
150 slivers of broken wood

Cue announcement/conversation
Everything I do, he proclaimed, is important
The way I eat a sandwich is important

Do you worry about using up all the words that you know?
Have you ever said words fail me?

Decoupage typewriter
A wealth of fiddle
I’m sorry. I thought refusal might still be an option
When did the muse become amusement?

Waves, dots, paisley sneeze…
Are you trying to spell Ethiopian?
Are you styling pigsties?
Can you see yourself out, or are you always in?
Are you in here, or out there?
Are you in as inside?
Can you see yourself in a year’s time?
Would you consider buying a carpet at night
Night falls, the day breaks
The day fall, the night breaks
The nightingale has a pleasant beak and appreciates seeds

The rain breaks
The rain falls
The rain drops
like crime

Detour. Fear always. Yes. Failure. Yes.
Dampness, mudlarks, plastic sheeting, memorial plaques,
gap smiles, slack jaws, cherry wood cabinetry, macadamias,
fish excrement, kick-hem skirts pushing back clouds,
the boned horizon, the end of rawness
Hear those heralds apologize
again and again and again and again

The answers are inside the minister
The answers are inside the minister

The suggestion if I pulled the cord,
he might unwind in front of me
The way he dazzled
A swab of face
Brass band
Stretch of elastic linking teeth and grasp
Hands to clasp your neck stitches
Beads of glass, beads of sweat
Birds of glass, birds of sweat
Sleech, thunderstorm,
prosopagnosia, shatter-bone

This city feeling like a stranger’s hallway—
tall walls, a place to remove your coat
Wait the hand to guide
Rooms leading to others you are not invited to view
In case of emergency, do you know how and where
to turn off the water?

The bastards are on fire. A mother draws up her car window
Lard, cuttlefish, peahen coats, a dead baby wrapped in cellophane
a horseshoe-shaped house with an L-shaped lounge
fancy wine storage, fanglements, chives and continental parsley
the woman in every photograph, the heels of his hands
the crumpled letter on his thigh, samphire, spring beauty
Queen Anne’s lace, rock rose, squinancy wort,
the iron age, the other side of wells. Brass coat hooks
shoal lights, airspeed plumes, marbles rolling across concrete
fighting bear pits of stomachs
the warmth of trouble in her throat
trip of fingers against cheekbones
dislocated shoulders, jerkins, jerseys
kilts, mayonnaise, char girls, charming girls
charnel houses, fetch the ball antics,
belching parents, heavily backed favorites
balloons formed to the shape of bulldogs.

I heard my name on the radio, saw his name on a grave
Adulterated space in flames, door handle moving
Sickness vs. plague
Late bridal smiles.

Here, God
Take this space and do what you want, God

Welcome to the Museum of Cattle

Poem taken from “Welcome to the Museum of Cattle”
(Three Rooms Press, 2012)


JANE ORMEROD is the author of the poetry collections, Welcome to the Museum of Cattle (Three Rooms Press, 2012), Recreational Vehicles on Fire (Three Rooms Press, 2009), and 11 Films (EXOT/Modern Metrics, 2008). Her work is widely published in anthologies and journals including Have a NYC, Sparring with Beatnik Ghosts, Ambush, Spiny Babbler, and the Hydrogen Jukebox compilation CD. Brain Ampin’. Jane was a founding editor at Uphook Press and in January 2012 formed Great Weather For MEDIA, focusing on edgy and experimental poetry, prose, and live performance.

Born on the south coast of England, she now lives in New York City and performs extensively across the United States and beyond—Los Angeles to Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia, Nashville, Salt Lake City, Canada, Britain, Ireland, and The Netherlands to name just a few places. A regular on the New York poetry and spoken word circuit, readings have included 2012 Poetry Festival Santa Cruz, The Knitting Factory, The Bowery Poetry Club, The Inspired Word, Goodbye Blue Monday, Beyond Baroque, The Cornelia Street Cafe, Galapagos Art Space, The Williams Carlos Williams Center, the John Cage retrospective at The De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea (UK), and The Stone where Jane has taken part in performances and readings of Gertrude Stein's Pink Melon Joy, and the work of Blaise Cendrars and Walt Whitman. Photo by Jay Franco

5 responses to “Within This Progression, Warmth”

  1. Well done, Jane. Glad to have you as this week’s featured poet on TNB. See you soon!

  2. […] Within This Progression, Warmth now up on The Nervous Breakdown   […]

  3. Jane Ormerod says:

    Very proud to say that “Within This Progression, Warmth” has just been nominated by Three Rooms Press for a Pushcart Prize.

  4. […] Super excited that my poem “Within This Progression, Warmth” has been nominated by Three Rooms Press for the 2013 Pushcart Prize. Find it in Welcome to the Museum of Cattle and online at The Nervous Breakdown. […]

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