Poetry / Poets / Writers / Writing

Poems by Philip Ellis

Black Dwarves

When the last stars have died sufficiently,
and only the black dwarves that are left
are sufficiently dim and guttering,
then would I dream that this pain has been paid.

This pain that I had caused you, without speech,
without the courage to my move my fingers
to your wrist, to be followed by my kiss,
on the palm where your fingernails lingered.

For I should have taken the echoed key,
and folded it up in your hand, like gifts
are folded, to be held as you opened
the door, to the room where the bed waited.

But I did not. And you found another
lover out there, out of unrequited yearning,
for you deserve to be happy,
no matter how dilatory I am.


From Nostromo’s Trousers: A Found Poem


Fiction is a game of surfaces.
What you think you see
is not quite what you get.
Its chief trick, however,
is to make you think
that there is a whole lot more,
that what you receive
is the tip of an iceberg
that somehow really exists.


Nostromo stands,
Nostromo walks,
Nostromo rides horses;
it is not unreasonable
to assume
that Nostromo has legs.

Note: Text extracted from “Nostromo’s Trousers” by David Brooks, in his The Necessary
Jungle: Literature and Excess (Ringwood : McPhee Gribble, 1990): 145, 146


Phillip A. Ellis is a critic, poet and scholar. His work includes The Flayed Man, Symptoms Positive and Negative, Arkham Monologues and Four Ballades on the Crawling Chaos. He edits Melaleuca, studies community services, and lives near Tweed Heads. His website is http://www.phillipaellis.com/

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