Mobile Photography & Art Saturday Poetry – ‘Instrument’ by Dao Strom with Sarah Bichachi


This weeks Saturday Poetry, matched with mobile photography/art is entitled ‘Instrument’. “I wrote this poem at the end of 2016. In the wake of the election, the phrase ‘burning-est woken of time’ spoke to a sense of urgency and self-questioning as to what kind of ‘instrument’ I would wish to be, and how. I remember there were a lot of words in the air at the time, rhetoric zinging back and forth on how to fight, resist, right and wrong ways to be, etc.—and maybe in response a part of me was craving a quieter version of myself, to be a conduit and hold channels open without falling prey to (or simply reflecting back) the anxieties around me/us. Playing with ‘-ist’ and ‘-est,’ and the placement of stanzas were further ways for me to contemplate sound and the extremities of language, as well as the slippery ease with which we create hierarchies of meaning by how we configure words” explained Dao Strom.

Dao Strom is the author of several books, including the bilingual poetry/art book, You Will Always Be Someone From Somewhere Else, (AJAR Press, 2018) and a hybrid-form memoir We Were Meant To Be a Gentle People, accompanied by a song-cycle, East/West (Press Otherwise, 2015). She is the editor of diaCRITICS and lives in Portland, Oregon.


I have matched this image entitled ‘Chocolate Tears’ by Sarah Bichachi – @sarahbichachi with this poem.

You can view and follow her work on Instagram here.

If you would like to be featured in our Saturday Poetry section, please ensure you include the hashtag #theappwhisperer to any images posted to Instagram. This will mean we will be able to consider it.

To view the others we have published in this section, go here.

i have wanted to be a sieve

i have wanted to be an anechoic chamber

and reflect back to you     no sound

but for the quiet rush and thrum

of your own nervous blood


i have wanted to be instrument

and not just body     to be felt

the cleavage of the world through

but instead to splay the invisible

light waned out through     skin


          skin and rushes

          a bird-wing desire

          alight and under       {fire}


                                               {i} walked out into the burning-est

                                               woken / of time / am i / acting-vist

                                               enough / as light / in the interim

                                               / inner of darkness / now entering

                                               / the machine / in knowing of

                                               cloak & insidious /

                                               of wonder / & plunder /

                                               not to seek / satisfaction in peaks

                                               / & difficult in climb

                                               / & / into surrender’s don’ts //


                                               {i} walked out

                                               into the brilliant

                                               wokenest of

                                               time & everything

                                               was trite-ist

‘Chocolate Tears’ ©Sarah Bichachi

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