Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Rebecca Tamas

Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc

I saw god in a split yolk.
You won’t like that of course,
why would you?
God was there, butter yellow,
singing.
Her head was sun-dipped
gas and flame,
the pouring of a star as it reaches
gravity collapse.
You ask, was I happy?
No, I wasn’t,
but there was joy
burning and scratching in
the fat, wet mess.

It was joy as yellow,
god’s yellow eye trickling gunk,
its yellow bright sight.
Out of this eye could come
a potential,
could come a breaking in the soil.
It was joy, so no,
I could not be happy about it,
the pain and gorgeous collapse
of living.

*

You are funny to ask if I’m a virgin
because, of course, I fucked myself,
made myself out of this sweet kiss,
this white bone.
My cunt shines like stained glass,
a holy amoeba, claiming and reclaiming
itself, pushing forth its intelligence.
The back of my neck is fresh and marked
with fingerprints.

I am absolute witness of that coarse angel’s voice,
my airy ––– swinging like a rung bell,
a trumpet bringing down clouds.

*

In the field something is
standing there with you.
Stop looking at the sky.
Around you in the might-be
grass, soil, hay bales, voles,
mice, a song thrush, yourself.

Around you might be a feed trough,
a disused tractor, a bag with a sandwich inside.
There might be trees or shrubs,
wildflowers. Stoats, foxes, iron work
tools, spades, a wooden fence, a hedge.
Do you want me to go on?

*

When the yellow eye looked at me
it didn’t worry about my breasts,
or my words, which ones I ate.

It didn’t worry about my chapter headings,
my long shins.
It worried if I was ok.

It worried if I was open enough,
and not too tired,
it worried if I was crying,
if I was being made to do something,
to flex the muscles in my left hand,
to speak, to run and bend.

The worry tasted blue,
a gorgeous worry.
In the end that worry is all I want,
aquamarine spread on toast, dripped into my ears.

*

You obviously find me sexy,
and it’s painful not to want your desire,
but it is not the kind of desire I could want.

When I’m dancing you could find me attractive,
my scruffy head and my slightly bent teeth,
my smile, my deeply breathing nose.
You could find me attractive when I’m polishing my
glasses, when you smell my jeans after I’ve been

in them, when you feel the rough palm of my hand.
You could find me sexy when I’m having sex,
when I’m laughing and coming like laying an egg,
when I’m reading out loud or biting.

Stay with me tonight please
all of you liars,
don’t go home yet.
Your ears are a bit grey,
there are stray hairs
on your shirts.
You want to kill me,
you imagine my various
internal organs
greasy in paper
like hot chips.

Still, stay,
human animals.
Stay so I can smell
your familiar
and tender
human foulness.

In the thunder
and night time
it is just me
and god.
Close

Joan of Arc

I saw god in a split yolk.
You won’t like that of course,
why would you?
God was there, butter yellow,
singing.
Her head was sun-dipped
gas and flame,
the pouring of a star as it reaches
gravity collapse.
You ask, was I happy?
No, I wasn’t,
but there was joy
burning and scratching in
the fat, wet mess.

It was joy as yellow,
god’s yellow eye trickling gunk,
its yellow bright sight.
Out of this eye could come
a potential,
could come a breaking in the soil.
It was joy, so no,
I could not be happy about it,
the pain and gorgeous collapse
of living.

*

You are funny to ask if I’m a virgin
because, of course, I fucked myself,
made myself out of this sweet kiss,
this white bone.
My cunt shines like stained glass,
a holy amoeba, claiming and reclaiming
itself, pushing forth its intelligence.
The back of my neck is fresh and marked
with fingerprints.

I am absolute witness of that coarse angel’s voice,
my airy ––– swinging like a rung bell,
a trumpet bringing down clouds.

*

In the field something is
standing there with you.
Stop looking at the sky.
Around you in the might-be
grass, soil, hay bales, voles,
mice, a song thrush, yourself.

Around you might be a feed trough,
a disused tractor, a bag with a sandwich inside.
There might be trees or shrubs,
wildflowers. Stoats, foxes, iron work
tools, spades, a wooden fence, a hedge.
Do you want me to go on?

*

When the yellow eye looked at me
it didn’t worry about my breasts,
or my words, which ones I ate.

It didn’t worry about my chapter headings,
my long shins.
It worried if I was ok.

It worried if I was open enough,
and not too tired,
it worried if I was crying,
if I was being made to do something,
to flex the muscles in my left hand,
to speak, to run and bend.

The worry tasted blue,
a gorgeous worry.
In the end that worry is all I want,
aquamarine spread on toast, dripped into my ears.

*

You obviously find me sexy,
and it’s painful not to want your desire,
but it is not the kind of desire I could want.

When I’m dancing you could find me attractive,
my scruffy head and my slightly bent teeth,
my smile, my deeply breathing nose.
You could find me attractive when I’m polishing my
glasses, when you smell my jeans after I’ve been

in them, when you feel the rough palm of my hand.
You could find me sexy when I’m having sex,
when I’m laughing and coming like laying an egg,
when I’m reading out loud or biting.

Stay with me tonight please
all of you liars,
don’t go home yet.
Your ears are a bit grey,
there are stray hairs
on your shirts.
You want to kill me,
you imagine my various
internal organs
greasy in paper
like hot chips.

Still, stay,
human animals.
Stay so I can smell
your familiar
and tender
human foulness.

In the thunder
and night time
it is just me
and god.

Joan of Arc

Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère