Two Poems | Anthony (Vahni) Capildeo | Granta

Two Poems

Anthony (Vahni) Capildeo

Migraine Improv

as big as you can

as small as you can

make it the same thing

seagull on the roof

common snipe in the yard

24/7 birdsound

wet feather

white flutter


volcano blackout

volcano privilege

volcano print

distant volcano

extinct volcano

volcano voile

paper recycling

fly away Peter

fly away Paul




snowflakes syringes

bananas oranges

statisticians foragers

mask no mask

nose mask mask

ventilator ventilation

dense lesbian trees

marriageable parasol geraniums

abandoned lighthouse

dense lesbian trees

people fall on their faces

things are looking up

dense lesbian trees

sweet singing in the choir

sweet singing in the choir






‘Doon Yer Tea, Eat Yer Bread’

A faint resentment paints

the spiral staircase walls

blue all over again,

unheimlich as a school

bazaar, as gilded eggs,

as rebonding plaster.

Footsteps. Stop one floor down.

Is that too soon. Or not.

They aren’t yours? Colour this

now, collect it like likes,

call it no name, no name.

I have seen the best minds

of my generation

turned into deer. About

time, too. Fuck resonance.

Streetside, virus baubles

the heatstroke jetty air.

Lyric! Cannae come in.

Vampiric lyric, you’re

banished. O my threshold,

my threshold, threshing floor

and sea floor, loud as foil.

O my deer, my hamlet,

my flowering wall, O

ladder to breakages,

nightmare’s gown, summoning

moonvowels. Exeunt.

I will go out. I will

Breathe. Breath is the spirit.

When’s a door not a door?

Too many empty rooms.


Image © Rawpixel Ltd

Anthony (Vahni) Capildeo

Anthony (Vahni) Capildeo is a Scottish Trinidadian writer, with interests in silence, plurilingualism, memory, music, place, and traditional masquerade. Recent work includes Like a Tree, Walking (Manchester: Carcanet, 2021), the Poetry Book Society winter choice, and shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize. Research on trees and silence was facilitated by a Visiting Scholarship at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and conversation with the Blackfriars community. A residency at the Charles Causley Trust in Launceston, Cornwall (2022) saw more site-specific work, in dialogue with stones, wood, and blood. A Happiness (Sheffield: Intergraphia, 2022) is the first to feature Capildeo’s doodles, accompanying creaturely poems. Capildeo is Writer in Residence and Professor at the University of York.

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