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Breath
Breath
Breath

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Contents

Inhale

Pommes Margherita Colaceci ………………………………………………………………………...p3
Yogini Shallal Qureshi…………………………………………………………………………….......p4
Alveoli Femi Oriogun-Williams…………………………………………………………………….. p5
Pranayama Tara Anne Kearney………………………………………………………………………p8
Dialogue for One Meena Qureshi…………………………………………………………………….p9

Exhale

Response to Pommes Femi Oriogun-Williams……………………………………………………...p12
Inspired Meena Qureshi (Response to Pranayama)…………………………………………..…...p14
Lucidity Margherita Colaceci (Response to Alveoli)…………………………………………..……p15
Give Shallal Qureshi (Response to Pommes)……………………………………………………....p16
Balloon Duet Tara Anne Kearney (Response to Dialogue for One)……………………………..…p17
Grounding the Air Meena Qureshi (Response to Yogini)………………………………………..…p19

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Pommes

Follow the route
Up to the great expanse
The little celestial persiennes
A memory en trance

Down the steps
You built with your bare hands
Where I planted my own little tree

There was a great oak
That is what there used to be
You can see it from the house
At its foot, our steps vanishing

I entered another world
It was when you were around
And all around you
Was like the world entered you

It was a view
From above:
What a time
When we were breathing with the doves
Surrounded by one another
When I swear I would have died
To wake up and find you weren’t breathing
In the quiet night.

Margherita Colaceci

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Yogini
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Floating
Upon Solid
Nothing

Sitting
Within Rippled
Silence

Dreams
Form Airy
Truth.

Shallal Qureshi

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0100100101110100001000000110100101110011001000000110110001101111011101100110010100
" 1000000111011101101000011010010110001101101000001000000110001101101111011011100110
1110011001010110001101110100011100110010000001101101011001010110000101101110011010
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0101101110011001110010000001110100011011110010000001110100011010000110100101110011

(N+1) Dialogue for One

[Inside the outside. Begin]

I have a story! I have a story! Here! Me! I
was born a number of years ago. I have a
Is this it, am I doing this right? Was I doing it right, will I be doing
name! I have a body. It ends… But my
reputation, reputation, reputation! The
it right- Now? How? Wait, shut up, just focus- focus… The focus diverted,
The reader reverted,
immortal part of my immortal art. A Good …. focus on what, exactly? On the stillness, they say, on being To sense making tactics,
name. I have a name. No spaces. No
silence. I have…I am ….a story…! calm. Nothing more anxiety inducing than focusing on being calm. Voice rhyming antics:
Look at me
I am…have… Am I doing this right? Focus on what, exactly? Right, exactly- Look at me
Look
writes: Listens to: The moving, great flooding deep,
I…!
enthuthon beneathon, shuddering beats the chest cavity, pulse of
This. Is. Stupid. silence- end of all endings, the dark side of the (flash!flash!flash!)
010010010
Wasting time. beneath the eyelids- {things to do, there are things to do, and after
010000001
110100011 those things, the other ones, I should do, I should make a list of THINGS TO DO:
And Words.
010000110 Things, to do }- Of the (flash!flash!flash!) I must report, there are 1)The first, very important thing I
Just stop
100101101 no colours- there’s no light to them, with the lids on, though have promised to do, but am not
doing, because I do not want to-
110011010 but should do, it is important, for
Now. curiously like the idea of colour, subtle seeming. I can see survival, we all must survive, not
110010000 surviving is
001110100 God Almighty. (yellow!) inside, when I want it, or (blue!). Something like the unthinkable
2) the next obligation
011010000 shadow of feeling cast by the form of feeling in the land of 3) Some other stratagem
4) Inevitable frustration
110010101 feelings. Senses that it doesn’t make sense, doesn’t fare well- n+1) think the unthinkable.
110010011 doesn’t fare at all, ne fait pas (behave, this is no place for romance-
001010110
can’t help it, there’s always something moving
011001101
111011100
In. And. Out. (Of ‘me’?) You

Are
The tranquillity is not still,
moving But a battle rolling beneath
Life;
Maybe he’ll say something tomorrow, Maybe Meditative eyelids tightly shut
Or bodies entwined in sheets.
he’ll tell me, what he wants, and I’ll know, what I want. In and out
of
I had best wait- You’re a fool for thinking this way,
says the fool who’s thinking- this way." Desiring
This way?" lips.

This way?"
This
Again? Lapsing all Judgement, treasons are infinite, reasons are infinite,
This way?"
way?"
and what about those forms, outside the infinity? Shuddering:
This way?"
You. Me. You. Me, you, me, you, me, you, me- me- me- me –
me- me

AWFUL make it stop! Build an escape bridge with my aching spine,
cannot, these throat ripping things inside of me cannot be mine! Blood
howling in the ears, body so full of blood, so full of drums:

"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""Dah dum.
Dah dum.
Dah dum.
Dah dum.
Dah dum.
Dah dum.
Dah dum.
Dah dum.
Dah dum.
Dah dum.
Dah dum.
9" Dah dum.
" Dah dum.
Dah dum.
Dah dum.
Dah dum.
Dah dum.
"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""Dah dum.
Dah dum.
Dah dum.
Dah dum.
Dah dum.
Dah dum.
That was nice- damn, lost it again, quiet Dah dum.
how did it go? Was it like this before? When Dah dum.
Dah dum.
wasn’t before? How long now, how long ever? Dah dum.
Stupid question, but I do keep wondering… I keep Dah dum.
Dah dum.
telling myself I was born, I have a name, but what Dah dum.
about before, before then, before now, be-fore Dah dum.
Dah dum.
there was a before Dah dum.
Dah dum.
Dah dum.
Don’t like the words, make them stop, Dah dum.
make them go away. Would leave if it wasn’t for Dah dum.
Dah dum.
the melting stillness

Moments of indivision,

You trembling like a moon on water

Now outside/inside

Soft the glowing

Do not dare name it

(
L
o
v
e
)
"

Among the endless and the ended Among the faces and the effaced
Among those flowers which have mended Among the midday threshold place
Scattered limbs and sown together Between the steps my body floats
Some past, Alive in Time’s new weather. Carried by voices unformed in throats.
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Spaces, spaces everywhere, and not a thought to think."

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Pommes

Reading Pommes is like lying in a state of semi-consciousness next to a breathing sleeper. It seems
aware that we only ever look upon it, incapable of being a part of it. Its clever use of prepositions
never allows us to fix ourselves within the landscape it creates. However, as you yourself drift in and
out of dreaming, you are reminded of your grounding in the physical world of the awake by the
steady, yet arrhythmic breathing of the person lying next to you. The poem assembles ‘en trance’ its
silent dream world, entirely oblivious to any on-looking eyes. It continues to inhale and exhale in its
rolling, rhythmic presence right through to its last lines where you remember, perhaps, to take a
breath. Pushing forward at every line-ending, never suggesting that the dream will die, it whips the
duvet off of us exposing us to the cool crisp air outside of its measured hypnosis. ‘To wake up and
find you weren’t breathing/In the quiet night’ is an act of poetic performance, the poem both
discovering and revealing its lifelessness at once. And yet Pommes is the shell for an experience to
which I can only imitate with my voice. For me it is the death of a captivating poem; for the speaker
there is the frustrating recounting of an inimitable experience which the poem can only ever
temporarily rekindle.

I am incapable of welding a poem on the brink of bilingualism with my own tongue, and yet the
underlying memory of another language within the poem’s dialogue with itself becomes the keyhole
through which I peer into another’s experience. For the English ear the title rings out like an infantile
spelling mistake, someone trying to write ‘poem’ but struggling to pull-off the swinging dip-thong. Or
maybe the thought of breath pulses the word ‘pulmonary’ through my ears as I hear something as
simple and as complex as a ‘Pomme’. It is an apple which Yeats, in ‘The Song of Wandering
Aengus’, noted as changeable in form when perceived at different times: ‘The silver apples of the
moon./The golden apples of the sun’. Maggie too, I think, shows the way in which we remember. The
details of the memory discolour changing with time and its various lightings. Similarly the sounds,
when put under the lenses of different languages, take on variegated meanings.

Our own angle of vision is constantly being asked to shift. ‘Up the great expanse… Down the
steps… It was when you were around… It was a view from above… Surrounded by one another.’ It
seems this memory has been played out again and again, viewed from different angles, in an attempt
to unify what was a linear experience, and which is now the fragmented rubble of scattered memories.
First we go up, into ‘the great expanse’ which I see as the poem, stretching down the page before me,
jagged and a little messy in a form which excites the imagination for its twists and turns to come.
Then ‘Down the steps/You built with your bare hands.’ There is a sudden scaling down to the tactile
intimacy of a pair of hands. The lines of the second stanza, as they successively succeed one another
in length, make their own little staircase, whittled out with care by the poet’s hands. Each little line,
each step, poured over with the care and concentration of the builder’s hands leads to the great
structure which is visible in the distance.

‘Around’ in its proximity to the pronoun ‘you’ becomes flexible in meaning.

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I entered another world

It was when you were around

And all around you

Was like the world entered you

‘When you were around’ suggests that the ‘you’ is present but their location is not specified. They
were ‘around’ but not necessarily in the same place as the speaker. Instead they floated around the
edges of the speaker’s perception. Then in the next line, they become the pivotal point around which
everything revolves, for ‘all around you/Was like the world entered you.’ I see this stanza as
replicating the concentric circles it attempts to describe. At the centre (in those central two lines) is
‘you’ and within ‘you’ is a world. However that same ‘you’ is the centre of a world which the speaker
has just left for the have ‘entered another world’. The object of the speaker’s love sits floats in the
centre of a bubble through which the speaker can see but can no longer enter. By being placed in
another ‘world’, the speaker’s companion, like the memory itself becomes safe from contamination
but is also now completely removed from the speaker’s reach. By turning the memory into a poem
and surrounding the poem with the page the memory, like ‘you’, is perfectly preserved but utterly
unreachable.

Then, the ‘view from above’ when merged with ‘around’ makes surround. ‘Sur-’ which perhaps
suggests being over or above something, combines with the sound of ‘around’ to create this view of
being enclosed or bounded in. The etymological route of surround is, in fact somewhat different,
superundare meaning an ‘overflowing’ which compliments this piling up of prepositions to the point
at which they overflow into one another to create this surrounding effect. This flowing visualisation of
the events creates a displaced speaker, disconnected from the memory though still avidly attentive to
it. The reader finds themselves engulfed in this recounting of ‘a memory en trance’. By remembering
a memory, the speaker distances themselves from a the irretrievable past, whilst trying to get closer to
it.

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Inspired

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We must have each other. We must. For all the times our wholeness has been compromised we must
gather together and be full, brim over in enthusiasm and be contained by the other. We have caught
ourselves in the act of playing with life. We have recognised Each Other as Gods. And now I must
learn to love you more than I desire you, as our breathing heightens towards Eternity. For I have seen
you naked and without your body, cageless and beautiful- and can never forget.
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LUCIDITY
(in response Alveoli.)

i am petrified
my blood coagulating
exhausted
fissures burst

caterpillars, tiny, on the windowsill
translucent

capillaries
hands passing in the wind
brushing like timeless things

i decay, and in a sizzle i
not only decompose
but pulverise
the former images of time
but I

roll back and forth
back and forth
back and forth

i am separate though moving
back and forth
in between
like bubbles, space in the liquid
vase sitting still in the moving air

it was all a hypothesis
until the vision etched
the thing not in itself
but tortured
seeking between the deepening
sockets of your eyes
and crevices of my mind
pressing
deeper and deeper I
like the bubble

resurface.
Margherita Colaceci
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Give

(Response to Pommes)

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Balloon Duet

An empty space. A freestanding ladder.

A woman stands in the centre, unclothed.

In her right hand she holds a BLUE BALLOON between her lips. With each inhale and exhale it
expands a little and deflates a little.

A YELLOW HELIUM BALLOON is tied to her left wrist by a piece of string. Her hand is raised to
shoulder height, as if the helium balloon were making it float. There is a small bend in her elbow.

A man sits on the floor to her left, in whiteface. He is also unclothed. Each time she breathes into, and
out of, the balloon, he breathes into, and out of, a harmonica.

The woman stops breathing into, and out of, the BLUE BALLOON. The man stops breathing into,
and out of, the harmonica. He looks at the woman.

She looks up at the YELLOW HELIUM BALLOON. She then blows the BLUE BALLOON up to its
full expanse. The harmonica man plays a tune.

She throws the BLUE BALLOON up into the air. It falls to the floor. She stares at it for three
seconds, breathing deeply. She then attempts to keep it up in the air with her right hand. She repeats
this until she is tired. All the while, her left hand remains suspended by the YELLOW HELIUM
BALLOON. The harmonica man has stopped playing his tune.

The BLUE BALLOON is on the floor again. They both stare at it for three seconds, breathing deeply.
They look at each other. They both go for the BLUE BALLOON. They fight over the BLUE
BALLOON. All the while, the woman’s left hand remains suspended by the YELLOW HELIUM
BALLOON. She wins the fight. She hugs the BLUE BALLOON to her chest with her right hand until
it bursts. The man flinches at the sound. He sits down. He plays his harmonica.

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The woman unties the YELLOW HELIUM BALLOON from her wrist. She lets it go. She watches it
float to the ceiling. She panics. She jumps as high as she can, trying to reach the YELLOW HELIUM
BALLOON. She repeats this until she is tired. She lies on the floor, directly underneath the
YELLOW HELIUM BALLOON. Her chest rises and falls. As her chest rises and falls the man
breathes into, and out of, the harmonica.

After twenty seconds the woman puts her right hand between her legs. She produces a BLUE
BALLOON out from the inside of her vagina. Still lying down, she puts it between her lips and
breathes into, and out of, the BLUE BALLOON. Her breath synchronizes with the sound of the
harmonica.

She stops breathing into, and out of, the BLUE BALLOON. Her hand falls to her side. She stares up
at the YELLOW HELIUM BALLOON. The man has stopped playing the harmonica.

The man stands. He lifts her up with his hands underneath her armpits. She stands, shoulders pointing
forward. She sways a little. He walks to the freestanding ladder. He positions it under the YELLOW
HELIUM BALLOON. He climbs up the ladder, and retrieves the YELLOW HELIUM BALLOON.
He brings it back down. He moves the ladder back to its original place. He ties the YELLOW
HELIUM BALLOON to her wrist. Her hand ascends to shoulder height, as if the YELLOW
HELIUM BALLOON were making it float. There is a small bend in her elbow.

She put the BLUE BALLOON between her lips. With each inhale and exhale it expands a little and
deflates a little.

Each time she breathes into, and out of the balloon, he breathes into, and out of, a harmonica.

Repeat.

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Grounding the Air

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