“Air-Silver Strands” and Other Poems by DS Maolalai

DS Maolalai has received nine nominations for Best of the Net and seven for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in three collections, “Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden” (Encircle Press, 2016), “Sad Havoc Among the Birds” (Turas Press, 2019) and Noble Rot (Turas Press, 2022)

Works by DS Maolalai have been previously exhibited by In Parentheses.

Air – silver strands

a meal by the window
on a finely peeled
evening – air,
clinging surface
to tile like a hair
on some plaster,
peeled off and balled
by the shower-
room sink. outside
silver strands
drift at peace
on the river, curling
on quay hooks
and lifesaver
rings. bridges stand heavy,
connecting our banks,
pulling the city
together. they lock in,
stitches drawn
running tightly
through skin,
on the aging
grey meat
of a scar.

Music with rooftops

over the balconies,
music with rooftops.
like spending your evening
putting together
a badly cut
jigsaw puzzle,
but somehow
in picturesque
it fits. I lean
on my window;
got speakers.
the notes
mix with street sounds
like a midwave
tuned radio.

A dashing figure.

reading a book
on the patio. College St,
outside of a bar door
and just north
from Kensington.
cars going by.
people walking.
I must have thought
I cut a dashing figure.
I did – I was beautiful.
tight as a tendon. deep
blue jeans, long hair,
a white linen shirt –
you’d never have guessed
I worked nights in a call centre,
lived in a studio, somewhere
on a road. well, maybe
you would
the last part.

and I read, not really seeing
the words, concerned as I was
with looking interesting,
getting deep as I could
behind sunglasses. legs kicked out
and a beer in front of me. around,
the world clicked onward, a machine unconcerned
with my appearance. the world clicked

like birds feet, wrapping on a chain-link fence,
perking forward and balanced,
with bright
and stupid eyes.


I used to go
out of my way
to kill them;
this, though,
was back
when I lived
with the family
avoiding the torture
of flies.

7 years on,
in an apt on my own,
I’ve been, I confess,
a slob sometimes
and come see them
as a necessary evil
to keep the place

like every day, going in
to work for a fucking bank;
it’s not like I’m doing it
because I like doing it.

The building’s shared carpark

pulling my bike
from collisions
of brackets, which nest
in the building’s
shared carpark
underground. I duck

and dodge handles,
dodge pedals
and tires. machinery
clutches, angry as flies
caught in webs. my lace
snags a gearbox
and my fingers
move carefully,
reach out with the keys
and past spokes.

above me, the corpses
of spiders
and mummified animals
hang dusty
and cobwebbed,
strained in their twists,
like looped tide-
wracked seabouys
tangled in stormy bays.

From the Editor:

We hope that readers receive In Parentheses as a medium through which the evolution of human thought can be appreciated, nurtured and precipitated. It will present a dynamo of artistic expression, journalism, informal analysis of our daily world, entertainment of ideas considered lofty and criticism of today’s popular culture. The featured content does not follow any specific ideology except for that of intellectual expansion of the masses.

Founded in late 2011, In Parentheses prides itself upon analysis of the current condition of intelligence in the minds of these young people, and building a hypothesis for one looming question: what comes after Post-Modernism?

The idea for this magazine stems from a simple conversation regarding the aforementioned question, which drew out the need to identify our generation’s place in literary history.

To view the types of work we typically publish, preview or purchase our past issues.

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In Parentheses Magazine (Volume 7, Issue 3) Winter 2022

By In Parentheses in IP Volume 7

32 pages, published 1/15/2022

The Winter 2022 issue of In Parentheses Literary Magazine. Published by In Parentheses (Volume 7, Issue32)

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