dumb accidents


beginning to write about accidents
you see there is no end to the mess
some people can wander into.


in 1842 a german visitor to manchester
noted so many people in the streets
minus limbs he thought the army must
be at war someplace


but they were factory accidents


then there were sleep debt accidents
where people had nodded off 
under the wheels of a big Mac


& there were reversing truck accidents & lawnmower
accidents & wine biscuit accidents where
someone’d thrown a biscuit at the temple of
someone else & they dropped dead of it 
in a pokey kitchen


& there were amusement ride accident reports
& alpine accidents where there was a whole blog
about a surgeon ~


i was a surgeon in the infirmary for alpine troubles


& there were wal-mart accidents & winn dixie accidents
& what to do after a michigan car accident


& there were prevention accidents and stop taking chances
accidents in 5 simple steps & power mower accidents
where the blades can be tragic to a young one’s limb in 
the yard.


& there were 7 secrets to avoiding car accidents.
check for cars twice over
                                 behind you – look.
watch for cars rushing
                                 get the habit of looking left
when switching lanes on a highway always turn your head
                                 spot the car pulling the trailer first
be very careful when you are close to trucks – they don’t have eyes
                                 kids have a bad habit of popping out from between cars


& there were car accident photos ~
my name is jon d & this is my 84 cadillac eldorado after it
burnt up thanks for your great site. i’m from pennsylvania.


& what you really wanted to know
were how many had lived & how many were
buried as dumb accidents.


glenn & the crashroom


from down the phone he is playing with a child
& there is a ball rolling along twice. 
the girl is testing her voice & he fidgets.

glenn i say i
would like to know about the way a crash sounds
& what can you tell me of the smell

my ear hears his ~ well mate
& he says there is a quiet sort of privacy firstly – they’re never keen
to be naked & broken

& then there is a general disorder to the body
for example a knee bent up & forward is really 
quite ugly 

i remember vividly the long haul of noise
& sometimes 5 different conversations going
at once ~

there might be a doctor saying fuck this drain
wont go in or a nurse scissoring the clothes off
on the table or the abc person ready with the abc

& the closeness of the ambulance driver
saying this is the second one today –
o really good thanks – yep – she’s 6 now

& the way the crashroom is a factory of noise
& all you want to do is get in there & fix
the poor bastard & hitch his accident to some star

what you really notice are the pieces of
windscreen that fall from the clothes or
the little lines of grass dropping to the floor

especially if the person was thrown
far from where they started off.
& then there are all the colours you would ever

wish to never see
like the grey & clammy for shut down.



Sonja Yelich lives in Auckland with her partner and four children. Her first solo collection, Clung, was published by Auckland University Press in 2004.