Veronica Charnley


Voice Warmed by the Fire | Vocal Warm-Ups | Music Stand | Worthwhile | Obscura | Entitled

Voice Warmed by the Fire

Cherry orchard baking in the noon sun
Fire truck rolled in to save it.
Windmill, which they sang around all night
Carpet laid out over the grass.
Mars shone brightly under the telescope
stimulant of the clouds above.
Red rose highest on the arc of her love
traffic signals she's not alone.
Bees can't see her blushing from his question
flags confuse their route to the rose.
Phone booth, a perfect place to warm her voice
licorice twist to a lost love.
Cross the river to reunite the two
Ruby is the name of her boat.
First colour to lose sight of at twilight
the violin warmed up its voice.
Dye more valuable than gold stains her
good luck softens and warms her voice.
Heart of an artichoke she bites into
element warms the tough leaves.
Flag warning tremendous pleasures ahead
lipstick unapplied for nine months.
Longest wavelength of light reaches her window
hot chili peppers warm her voice.
Oxblood shoes she takes out in spring
tulip water collecting fast.
Beetle takes flight from the windowsill
amulet meant to prolong life.
Ribbon she cuts before crossing over
Amaryllis amorous song.

Vocal Warm-Ups

Correct posture makes her an impostor
Combining registers seamlessly
Scale down talk to match the scope of the town
Smiling to stay on pitch through suspicions
Creating back space to store a secret key
Chest voice sealed for delivery at noon
Dropping the jaw, idle chat covers up
Resonant sinuses under Venetian mask
Tongue flat and stone-heavy like skipping
Knees bend to pick up the pace
Diaphragmic breathing keeps her grounded
Sighing her way to the clearing out back
Soft palate rising to the occasion
Head voice towards the green light that says, "Go"
Bobbing for pitches, pretending to care
Ear training the stomach to recognize
Tension release when the deedís been done
Stretching her range with Home, Home on the Range
Loosening the lips and taking what's hers
Sparkle notes mapped out from middle c.

Music Stand

Alison places her music stand
Behind the furnace and lets her music stand
Cold and bare fingers on the music stand
Deaf to her song, the music stand
Elevates the page, lets the music stand
For every lonely girl with a music stand
Gasping for air and for the music stand
Happily, the music stand
In between him and her music stand
Just enough for a music stand
Killing for music stand
Lovingly in the music stand
More or less a foot and a half from the music stand
Never drop your music stand
Out fashions include concrete music stand
Proud to have inherited such music stand
Questioning the music stand
Right up against the music stand
Still to hear the music stand
To reason that he let her music stand
Up to all the critics of music stand
Veraciously before the music stand
Warmed up by the furnace music stand
Xeroxing more music stand
Yelling for more music stand
Zealously before the music stand.


After all this:

Soaking, scrubbing, oiling, buffing, peeling, shaving, rinsing, dyeing, filing, waxing,
clipping, painting, drying, clarifying, medicating, wave stimulating, manicuring,
pedicuring, deluxe massaging, exfoliating, highlighting, oxygenating, moisturizing,
brightening, whitening, banishing, lifting, polishing, spraying, restoring, tinting, shaping,
powdering, airbrushing, de-frizzing, detoxifying, plucking, penciling, covering, reducing,
stretching, brushing, bobby pinning, curling, powdering, balancing...

I end up here with you, in your room, where unpacked boxes line the walls up to the
ceiling, where crumpled wax papers with pastry crumbs lie on your desk, where a photo
of me punctured with cat tooth marks lies on the floor. I kiss your unshaven face.



Sleeping in a bunker
I'm soaking in the horizon through a narrow slit
Over hours of exposure
the sea phases on the grain of the receptor

They left me here while they had tea

Knowing that when they'd come back
to take me apart
I would be dripping with light


Stepping out of the photo booth
onto the lake
where there is no trace of me
my passport out of this quiescent cannon
the clean walls
the length of a few feature films
landed me here
awoken from the window pane
to uncover parallel prayers
this continent