Two Poems by Claire Lacey

Two Poems by Claire Lacey

You know I can’t grab your ghost apples, Taika.

After Sharon Lam

I had a dream that Taika Waititi
invented a new kind of apple
that looked like an apple.
Taika Waititi wore a lab coat, goggles,
gardening gloves, he makes
a good Bill Nye or Oingo Boingo.
There were science accoutrements
across the demonstration table
in front of housewares.
It was a showy extraction of billowing green
which Taika Waititi dripped over his
apples. We were in a mall,
American-style, circa the recession,
with racks of junk and not a salesperson in sight, or a customer
just Taika Waititi circa now, his apples, and me.
Taika Waititi went to wash his hands
and I scrumped those apples,
pouched them into my t-shirt
and ran
dodging racks
of winter coats,
through lingerie,
it must have been a Sears because
I couldn’t find a checkout desk
or a cashier, only miles of clothes
for the upper middle-aged.
I got those apples to the checkout
I was going to buy them, I’m only
a bit of a thief, not a crook.
I disgorged those apples onto the counter, they slithered
like fish from a commercial net
spilled over concrete.

Taika Waititi caught up:
those are my apples, he said
I made them.
I got them here, I said, I’m buying
your apples Taika Waititi,
the whole job lot.
I thought he would be pleased to
sell out his stock, I thought
he would laugh like
I made a good joke and was
maybe a bit cool.

He looked at me with sad
Taika Waititi eyes and said
my apples aren’t for you.

I’m sorry I disappointed you,
Taika Waititi, in my dream
and in my poem about my dream
and in these tweets of the poem
of my dream. I’m sorry
I stole your apples
that you invented
in a 2008 financial crisis Sears
which you were probably saving for breakfast on set,
and I’m sorry
that I cast you in my dream
you can’t even get any royalties for that, poet dreams
aren’t worth a dime or a damn;
poets are broke and foreclosed
and haunted too.
I’m sorry about the dream and the poem and the poets
please keep your sad gaze
I can’t take it
like I can’t take your apples
after all.

Let’s try it, the doctor said.

I don’t know how to write feeling good/a good feeling/is this a dagger I see before/is this a butterfly/me/the I of this poem/sting like a/melancholy is so and so easier/much

above the bathroom mirror the biggest spider/she’s been there a while/tonight your web’s a mess, lady

this poem brought to you by chamomile tea/coming off my meds/a lovely swim/ a bank statement/an impending exam/doomscrolling/past midnight/three years without sex/I don’t want to be sick again/anymore/a dream about a beautiful goldfish/the goldfish black with shimmering orange commas/google how to dream that fish again

Claire Lacey lives and writes in Ōtepoti Dunedin. They are the author of Twin TonguesSelkie and a chapter in the anthology Impact: Women Writing After Concussion.

Twitter: @poetactics