This week our Friday Poem is taken from Tamar Yoseloff’s newest collection, A Formula for Night: New and Selected Poems, which is half price on our website until midnight on Monday as part of the Seren summer sale.
Tamar Yoseloff is a poet whose career has been profoundly influenced by the visual arts. A Formula for Night: New and Selected Poems is the eagerly awaited summation of her work, encompassing selections from four published print volumes: Sweetheart, Barnard’s Star, Fetch and The City with Horns (now mostly out of print); and poems from her collaborations with artists: Formerly, Marks and Desire Paths. The book also includes a generous selection of beautiful new poems. ‘Insomnia’, our Friday Poem, is one of these.
The clock’s small hands carry me
to the house where I was a child
and in those rooms peace settled
despite the war inside the TV,
the lunatic with an axe who filled
the drive-in screen. My parents said
no harm would come if I was good.
My room was buttercup yellow,
it was always spring; my Barbies
were missing arms or legs, while boys
came back from Nam in bags.
Everyone seemed old but they were young,
now everyone seems young, and I’m the one
crowding the night with phantoms.