Poem of the Week: Lauren Turner

“Hallelujah” from Various Positions (1984)

If Leonard Cohen writes of her love then she knows this love
to be a true love.

He’s kneeling in her kitchen with chairs pillaged from street curbs
without concern for the neighbours’ good opinion or bedbugs.

Chairs speak to Leonard Cohen like sparrows chorused Greek
to a writer whose husband was a Leonard less fond of oranges.

They probably speak joual. Or some other language made entirely
of consonants and thumps since chairs are very physically expressive.

Leonard Cohen knows Delilah bound her lover to one and he’s busy
caressing legs to figure it out,

fingers groping to test a poem or a song which is a poem
stood against music.

Scuffs in varnish should give away how the lover was held
as silk rope and plastic ties keep separate intentions, in theory.

Desire can be a coddled, asexual thing. Desire can be a dark kitchen
with red speckling the stove handles and a man seated nearby.

A man in a chair isn’t erotic. It’s quite banal
until it’s seen he can’t leave, kept to a throne that’s breaking

and re-breaking like the moon in a washbasin, its reflection
distorted by limbs bathing there.

excerpted from the chapbook We’re Not Going to do Better Next Time, by Lauren Turner, KFB, Toronto 2018. Used with permission from the author.  Buy it here!
Lauren Turner wrote the chapbook We’re Not Going To Do Better Next Time (knife fork book, 2018). Her writing appears or is forthcoming in Poetry is DeadCanthiusArc MagazineMinola ReviewCosmonauts Avenuecarte blancheLemon HoundThe PuritanBAD NUDES, and elsewhere. She lives in Montréal, Québec on the traditional and unceded territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka people.