»The Lever«

The series Bits of Literature gives an insight into the different forms of literary texts that are started, developed, or continued at Solitude. Each contribution introduces a new writer with either a fragment of a novel, a poem, or any other type of text. This time the poem The Lever from New Zealand born writer Alice Miller toys with the role of the citizen in the world.


The Lever


I spend hours as a gambler shovels coins

in whatever currency we keep


letting all our hours sleep

in the unbreakable brains of our machines.


When I pull the lever I know the lever.


I know each second before each second knows

me, but while I think this doubles me


I’m halved. When I pull

the lever I know the lever


pulls me; so I say the lever

has to do with love; because I want


to know you but know your being

makes me half-sad you’re wholly here,


half-happy. I’m here to collect matter

that will let us build a new life. Still;


as the advertisements know,

there’s nothing to it.


I ask for one more day, and it comes.



(This poem previously appeared in Five Dials.)