Shrug—Spin—Shatter by Iris Colomb


SHRUG—SPIN—SHATTER

I wouldn’t let you touch it now if you were spilling out, and even then — when I give it back it won’t — when I struck it first — wanting it there, wanting it close, before it slips — when it started to, started to spin — and as it tried to pull away — let me tell you how it feels, remind you how it felt when you — to risk the tear I closed my eyes, closed in to tear, if tearing wasn’t quite enough — give it a rest, why give — I bet you can’t remember how it howls, it howls, that’s why — skipped as it could behind my tongue, I — lost in a shrug, another shrug, mine — I’ve been trying not to waste my vowels before we break — when it chokes on itself — lost in a shrug, another shrug, mine — enough to risk it flailing out, before I quit, after I take enough to risk — and every time it chokes — these sounds I snatched, I snatched, to be mine — I didn’t ask, and wouldn’t reach, because it stings — when I stole your language — some of it left, not all of it clutched — and all of it surrounding you, surrounding me, again — I wasn’t trying, wasn’t trying, wasn’t tired — when I give it back it won’t — rings of it racing back to — I wasn’t trying, wasn’t trying, wasn’t tired — when it chokes on itself — I never rest before it’s done, and when it’s done I let it shatter me — and as it tried to pull away — skipped as it could behind my tongue, I — I never rest before it’s done, and when it’s done I let it shatter me — I wouldn’t let you touch it now if you were spilling out, and even then — enough to risk it flailing out, before I quit, after I take enough to risk — and when it caved, pretending it could still — I didn’t ask, and wouldn’t reach, because it stings — and all of it surrounding you, surrounding me, again — and when it caved, pretending it could still — the only world I wouldn’t sell, you tried to play that card, I wouldn’t say it back — when the sounds feel like my sounds I wait and — when I ripped it out, my voice an empty box, and left to draw it ripe — I’ve been trying not to waste my vowels before we break — and every time it chokes — I bet you can’t remember how it howls, it howls, that’s why — when I struck it first — although it still likes to pretend, likes to pretend it can — when I stole your language — the only world I wouldn’t sell, you tried to play that card, I wouldn’t say it back — when it started to, started to spin — all this and more before I can’t relate and all before the point — give it a rest, why give — wanting it there, wanting it close, before it slips — all this and more before I can’t relate and all before the point — although it still likes to pretend, likes to pretend it can — to risk the tear I closed by eyes, closed in to tear, if tearing wasn’t quite enough — let me tell you how it feels, remind you how it felt when you — rings of it racing back to — I said let’s take we will we have — when I ripped it out, my voice an empty box, and left to draw it ripe — these sounds I snatched, I snatched, to be mine — I said let’s take we will we have — some of it left, not all of it clutched — when the sounds feel like my sounds I wait and



Iris Colomb is a poet, artist, curator, editor and translator based in London. Her performances have involved artist books, experimental translation, metal tubes, red bins, shouting over hairdryers and spitting in books. Her pamphlet 'I’m Shocked' came out with Bad Betty Press in 2018, and her chapbook 'just promise you won’t write' was published by Gang Press in 2019.

Check out Iris' website

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