Two Poems

Michael Hofmann

Catechism

My father peers into the lit sitting-room
and says, ‘Are you here?’ ... Yes, I am
in one of his cloudy white leather armchairs,
with one foot not too disrespectfully on the table,
reading Horvâth’s Godless Youth. Without another word,
he goes out again, baffling and incommunicable,
the invisible man, dampening any speculation.

Open House

Rawlplugs and polyfilla ... the cheerful,
tamping thump of reggae through the floorboards,

the drawling vowel ‘r’ of Irish or Jamaican English
carrying easily through the heated, excitable air –

as though I lived in a museum without walls.