"In limbo dovetail abode (Las Meninas pigeons)"

Klara du Plessis

Winner of the 2019 Pat Lowther Memorial Award and shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, Klara du Plessis’ debut collection, Ekke, was released from Palimpsest Press. Her second book is forthcoming in fall, 2020. Klara is a PhD English Literature student at Concordia University and a researcher for SpokenWeb and is currently expanding her curatorial practice to include experimental Deep Curation poetry reading events, an approach which places poets’ works in deliberate dialogue with one another and heightens the curator’s agency toward the poetic product.

“This poem is based on Pablo Picasso’s series of 58 reinterpretations of Diego Velázquez’s painting Las Meninas, also including 9 paintings of pigeons, which he considered as part of the series.”


     the couture pigeons lapse in their elegance.
     Stiffened bodice-laces collapse, snap to a grinding halt.
     The geometry of being tied in neatly reverberates,
     word, cataclysmic cut,
     chaos of mobility.
     Sex positivity festers / fosters
     strings along—   
     undergarment grasps like fingers,
     cutlass vibes,
     feral / feathers / fetish

     Imagine being able to fly but just sitting there.
     Statuesque decision.
     Queen of seatedness, staring off mid-distance in tousled regality
     holding emblems of plumes
     and contours.

     The wing could be an existential question
     cavorting with the wind, rising and falling politically,
     the hollows inside feathers and bones
     adding celestial eminence to being

     urban effigies of the sky.


     Dovecote holes,
     little skeletal heads pointing outward to the rest of the world
     as oculus orifice.
     Measure space in the yellow yolks of prefabricated sunshine.
     Recycle cartons as sacrifice to the pinhole gods of the quotidian.

     Portico, columnar structure,
     almost ancient in systemic insinuation.
     Balcony is a synonym for gallery after all.
     Holding audience with wings / images
     formal interview and
     anemic lecture—
     tiny little hearts of pigeons eclipsing their own pulse.
     Ripping through the close-set nudge,
     tight little wedge of upper body, bondage
     to its own torsion.
     Succinct tension of succulence,
     growing, guarding, a beneficent armour.

     Careening across the physical features of the sky.

     Auricular is not an oracle but the hidden
     of feathers listening delicately.

     Due to oddities of perspective
     the clouds that seem to be towering at arm’s-length
     are probably hovering overhead.

     The knife-edge of representation
     risking kitsch
     tropical tree freedom.
     This isn’t his other peace dove,
     but monochrome left behind in favour of purple,
     bright blue, yellow so happy it’s an awning for the final pigeons.