TEXT poetry


Christopher (Kit) Kelen

From a Book of Exercises



inside the open book
the poem

the poem a path
ready made
yet to travel

the world lies open
in it
and opening reveals the scene …
so throw a circle round -

green field
bare hill
open ocean
patch of blue

how to feel?

or hungry
sorry for yourself
or for the others more

where do you go?
nowhere but on into the picture

come to the floor of my flat,
but when I turn the key
and open I find…

a corridor
three doors inside

one is transparent
or I am through it
I see

the second is open

the third is the door of a safe
but ajar
I could heave it away
and squeeze in

which of the three?

choose one
out of the vanishing

it's somebody else's -
a crime scene
there's a football field
plain of ice
there's only the open sea

but you can look beyond it
for miles

know that once you step through
other way vanish

in the end you make a door out of words
and this will be the plank you float on

if you can paint
the flood
then it will
bring you
to the world you wish
and you might call that home



no part of speech is stable in China
(every word can have piss taken)
or how to jabberwock
(out of a list of words my students invented)

the sunbrim

fake up
this overthought

uh - huh


out of a sudden

awing paragraphy

scareful the hazzle irresistant
and so outstand the buffle

and eagering outstand
say I
shooking and boresome
doubtedly troublous

this is the cerymomery
it is
footlighted, meliorate

leaves me
a long time preperating
humourly arrestant

to them - the makers
I say:

moreover me not
however me else

true -
sarcasticism underjoys
yet we
examinate pripority!

give hearting then
and awingly

you won't avoid
the overthought

let brevity be toppest


but eyelessly
make up the world

o aliened and worthful

transrasperate this lot!

Christopher (Kit) Kelen's most recent volumes of poetry are Dredging the Delta (a book of Macao poems and sketches), published in 2007 by Cinnamon Press (UK) and After Meng Jiao: Responses to the Tang Poet, published in 2008 by VAC (Chicago, IL). Kelen has taught Literature and Creative Writing for the last eight years at the University of Macau in south China.


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Vol 12 No 2 October 2008
Editors: Nigel Krauth & Jen Webb