Eugen Bacon – Texture of Silence

Eugen Bacon LEP&W V4 Dec 2022

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Four December 2022.

Texture of Silence, poems by Eugen Bacon.

Texture of Silence

At the Musée des Beaux Arts
As ancient Masters pouted onto canvas
Turned hues to ponds/windows
Icarus was nearly 30
And abandoned hir wings of plumes
And hip hopped with mishaps/miracles
Through a portal in a forked baobab’s rhapsody
At the edge of the Savannah grassland.
Sie found a shore with a naked runner
And a mule-drawn painter
Wearing batik shorts in the silence of sound
And a sea green pinafore/reddish-brown wrap.
And saw a dhow with silver sails
To an island of spices
In a labyrinth that hailed swoon/slumber
On a sisal mat at midnight.
Sie snored in a tonality of folksong
Beat timed one friend/fiend at a time.

Lost skin

it’s too much so she stole her husband’s
as he huddled in her bed—
and snipped memories of belonging
thatched roofs that hum, the names of all those
people, a knock on a door to beg salt…
each snip is an altarpiece
a reminder of tragedy
from every eave

She disappears every day

hers is a photo from the frontline.
pieces of her plunging in precise hexagons.
a nail, a finger, a knee, a waist.
what happened to her mother’s bum?
a starvation diet, that’s what.
she walks in blindfold
unseeing of her ancestors—
tests, indentations far and wide.
people ask in clusters and all points
for proof of her legitimacy.
she looks at a phone box,
reminisces of mangos
in her grandmother’s backyard.
she tries to fit in, to scrub ancestry
but is parched, cannot help coincidental words.
her child’s knees are scabbed from bullying.
she’s dabbed them in salve, zero courage to call
who to call? hers is a folk tale trope
with a princess no-one will marry.
just a bed of nestles in a land of honey
full of stings. today she ties a sash.
garbles unremarkable words that remind her
of a black river pregnant with tilapia.

© Eugen Bacon

Eugen Bacon is an African Australian author of several novels and fiction collections. She’s a 2022 World Fantasy Award finalist, and was announced in the honor list of the 2022 Otherwise Fellowships for ‘doing exciting work in gender and speculative fiction’. Her books in 2022: Mage of Fools (novel), Chasing Whispers (collection) and An Earnest Blackness (essays). Visit her website at and Twitter @EugenBacon

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