30 Poems: Day Twenty-Seven


Having spent the whole day involved in a wonderful wedding, I have arrived home just before midnight, about to excuse myself from today’s poem. However, Mike Hopkins inspired me to whip up a quick erasure poem.

This is Neruda’s “Fable of the Mermaid and the Drunks”. I have taken words out, but kept them in the same order as the English translation I have in my edition.

In this way I have attempted to put the poem on its head and give the mermaid the power, rather than the drunks.

At two minutes to midnight, when utterly exhausted, I’m fairly OK with this!!


All these men she entered.

The river flowed over her glistening flesh.

Her golden breasts did not weep;

did not dress.

With laughter, since speech was unknown to her,

faraway love moved soundlessly;

left by that door.

Scarcely had she entered, than she was cleansed.

And without a backward look

towards nothingness,

swam to her death.



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