D.S. Maolalai

Some things that happen

Vanitas Vanitatum by Roman Kramsztyk

reading books
and forgetting
that the action
is in smaller things;
the movement of a pen
or the moment
when a finger
lands right
on the keyboard.
a field at night, talons
and a mouse. language
swinging upward,
becoming a rope
for creatures to climb. I like airport novels
and bad spy thrillers, adventure stories
printed in readable fonts;
books written for people
who would rather watch a movie.
playing to action – saids on the page
like strolling down a staircase. simplicity.
a beginning
and an end
and some things that happen
between them.
taking the train to work;
looking over people’s shoulders
at a page.
becoming interested
despite myself.


About the writer:
D.S. Maolalai is a graduate of English Literature, Trinity College, Dublin. Maolalai has been nominated four times for Best of the Net and three times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden (Encircle Press, 2016) and Sad Havoc Among the Birds (Turas Press, 2019).

Image: Vanitas Vanitatum by Roman Kramsztyk (1885-1942). Oil on canvas. 33.4 x 27.9 inches. After 1930. Public domain.