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Image by Caroline Forbes

Camping out

Camping out

The infinite regression of things
was never made clearer to you
than that starless night
when you took the form
of a chattering chicken's head
projected onto the nylon
wall of a tent, and looking back

at the pinched forefinger and thumb
that made your beak, back
through the clenched middle and ring
fingers to the flickering
kerosene lantern, you knew that even he,
your pudgy, rotten-toothed, dim-
witted creator, could not behold what

you, a knuckle-brained silhouette
could see on the other side
of the screen: the racoon at the picnic
basket, the speckled fawn disappearing
under brush for fear, and beyond
the timberline, the fat orange moon
that was busy, obliterating the stars.


from A Lens in the Palm (Carcanet, 2008), © Kelly Grovier 2008, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

Recordings

Kelly Grovier Reading from his Poems

1The shed

2The stars

3The easel of Mantegna

4The ancient of days

5Rodin's Balzac

6Camping Out

7Rain, Steam and Speed

9The lens

10The needle

11Ghosting

12Lost

13The lost room

14The recipe

15Table Saw

16Furcula

17Lacewing

18St Augustine's Abbey

19Conversions

20The astrologers

21The Book of Clues

22Giftings

23Icon

24A spider in Trinity College Chapel

25Fra Angelico

26Les Parapluies

27The triple tree

28Of thought - the train

29Mincing Words

30There

31'Nor even yet quite relinquish'

32The Consolation of Philosophy

33The frequency

34Metaphysics

35Spinnings

36Tractatus

37The night is like a dinosaur

38Via negativa

39April Morning

40The meadow

41Palms

42Wan Hu's flying chair

43Murmuration

44Söl

45Hurricane Alley

46The Ruined Statue of a Saint

47Pancho Villa

Books by Kelly Grovier