Corp’rate Day

selected writing by Laurence Figgis

Untitled Poem (from ‘Even or Perhaps’)


There’s a face in the graveyard
full of spit and stone,
full of apathy and pleasure,
and it hisses hushes
at the howling wounds
and kisses full of closure.

Goodbye, it says, goodbye,
and I seem so bright
though I’m burning.

Subtle arts of cowardice and calm,

I know, I know, these
are the arts I know,
but I cannot say these words,
and your smile’s shadow
sinks into snow.

I’m robbed,
though such a claim
was never form,
squandered in vacuities required
to cloak truth’s poignant flesh,

mortgaged in dreams,
in futile, but strangely
incandescent thoughts
nourished in the dark,
when I am lonely and
our last parting seems
so stark and so sore.

I stretch my hands before them,
as I would before a fading fire,
but is there flame enough
to warm my hope’s mottled bones,
through this long,
cold void of a scar?

Winter – words of parting
burn the lips that
clothe them in platitudes,
falling like clods of ice,

hug-hug –

on my coffin.

I could have hugged my shame,
and baited yours,
for sake of my full human’s due,

but I couldn’t say,

I couldn’t say,

I loved you, loved you, loved you.

Laurence Figgis recited this poem as part of the live spoken-word performance Even or Perhaps (written by Laurence Figgis with drum accompaniment by Jack Figgis) at the Dundee Centre for Contemporary Art, 2nd August 2014.  The performance formed part of the event ‘Continue Without Losing Consciousness’ curated by Rob Churm and Raydale Dower for ‘Generation: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland’).