Three Poems from The Best Estimation in the World

Sonia Farmer

SIT DOWN AND TRY TO BE SOMEONE:
(This Is Not) an Interview with the Interior Designer

1.

how wonderful
that at this kitchen table
people are seeking adventure
knowing that it will be
delivered to them

come in
do you see a menu for yourself

dinner was a roasted casino
the type of thing we pride ourselves in

lifestyle hotels were weeping
for a bite

service will be delivered
in unexpected ways

are you interested in
our special
the entree of common sense

eat up

I was raised on
this kind of home cooking

2.

in the beginning
we were told hope
is the master plan

the mission had been to
lie in the hotel’s arms
and try to figure out
what had happened

it was a hollow kind of thing
the words that we felt
but couldn’t say

that’s when we started eating

I sat on a guest
and added a dash of
glamour and stupidity
before I bit down

now we capture audiences
for sport
and it’s open season

3.

I consider myself
a citizen of the world

the city I remember once
is it you

raised
to get hit on
I refuse to
play with love stories

we’re just creating excuses
so the guests will feel well
about their expiration date

this is the time
for alarm

you don’t have to run

this oven
trimmed with the finest furnishings
China has to offer
is almost ready for you

4.

our beds
spice sauces

can we collectively
get all of Bahamian history
into a recipe book

when you finally taste it
it will make you feel like
you’re enjoying yourself more

come and see
what they’re talking about

I’ll make you appreciate
what you’ve always had

climb on top of me
split my casino

I’m in season
enjoy it

I want you
to come back often

BECOMING THE CANDIDATE:
(This Is Not) an Interview with the Managing Director of Luxury

1.

my first lesson
was about the traditions of hospitality
and the social will to profit

they wanted us to cultivate
a good tone to this country

so making sure that we researched
all the uses of a face

we set about reading the syllabus
they fit inside
this beautiful beach ball

we touched the hearts and souls
of emotional distance

this is the type of connection
you stick to

hello people
beyond the reach

in the gardens you see yourself
the beautiful peacock
and the story of what he did

press next episode

2.

someone always wants to go
the extra mile

the dollar rose with me

a star pupil that pays
attention to detail

for me the most important thing
is to provide service invisible

so sweet
that when it happens to you
you don’t even see it

I’ve lived on less
than these back bends

the finer things in life
get in the way

look in the game to stay in the game
empty

3.

a great talent exists in this country

the beast in wool pants
about the old city
was my teacher

with a degree in
assessing and suppressing
prostitutes

he designed me
one year at a time

but very special leaders
also have beautiful tempers

you could find
your feet broken off
at the bottom
of the cliff

most learned how to persevere

the school toasted
each one of our souls
with the trading
of such severity

4.

if you find yourself
in a room filled with nothing
that’s when we can talk about it

the little refuge of the school uniform

I could explain
how small the practice is
of being in the Bahamas

the killers it hides in its midst
are really teachers
who preach the Bible
via law school dreams

poor little robot

you want to walk around
the ruins of the property
and you want to discover things

you want to see
you are a wonderful gentleman

but you are not
Explorer people

your whole life
cooking in a prison
the ultimate rebrand
of this tropical rosary

5.

the gifts that come
with this training period

that is over

all I’ve learned
is how to be
frozen in time

a little story to focus on
while guests take nice
shits on the beach
of this nation

never considering
the fury surrounding those people
that attend to the everyday
brand promise

never conceding that
it’s really about taking here

I want guests to take away
my memory

that fearful education of
hospitality

steal the little moments
before dawn
when we catch glimpses of
the fool I’ve become

enduring the region
being executed on me

A HOMICIDE WE ALL KNOW WELL:
(This Is Not) an Interview with the Corporate Director of Destination Marketing

1.

love is based on
what we have to offer

we’re a great service

every guest who walks
into our soul
will be wowed

stylish and unique
we were designed to
fit the parameters
of human desire

we embrace the culture
and feel a building
embrace back

touch a block
baby

and think of all the people
you ever loved

2.

my background in hospitality
is that I lived in an empty castle
as a young child

tourism is like a bikini
made out of thick wool

I wonder if I’ll ever get to
shine again

If I’m true to the brand
I’ll be able to move on
and have a new life with
some other hotel rooms

I do not want to fall from
my high hopes

the customer wants a need
so we are going to make this
the best estimation in the world

3.

so what are you looking for

I work on my knees
you’ll get to choose
my passion

word of mouth is always
the best advertisement

just make me smile
he says

she says
all of you is
the deal

yes
he says
bleed

elevate our experiences

action

4.

it is a phenomenal want
to continue the hum of being here

even the way I think
is a product

where can I go to vomit
into the air
taking with it every thought
I’m committed to

on the phone there are
flashbacks of my autonomy

I admit I was nearby
navigating to come back

I’m a compass
trying to find anywhere else in the world
where you really get nowhere

speak to how the hearts
of some sort of exciting place
return here again and again

people are always in love
the less they remember

5.

what does it mean to buy
a world that’s correct

the rich and famous playground
is basically a raid at our doorsteps

on the news tonight
police caught the hotels
trying to sell themselves

when did this accident
happen over and over again

an insulating smog of
pop culture
has been overwhelming
the sky

breathe it in
and listen for further instructions
on the radio stream

we’ll soon embrace a war
over this ocean

with the blessing of the enemy
leave a prayer right here
at the locked door
of the kingdom

6.

I’m going after
a different customer

I’m moving away
to be more real

before resigning
I want to talk
with a knife you have

split down
my western hemisphere
I am going into existence

you will notice me this time

I have warped into fire
fully engulfed and fully calm
a self-mocking bomb

I wake up to burn
the morning

I come to light the wooden bodies
with painted faces
drinking and singing in town

 


Sonia Farmer (b. 1987) is a writer, visual artist, and small press publisher who uses letterpress printing, bookbinding, hand-papermaking, and digital projects to build narratives about the Caribbean space. She is the founder of Poinciana Paper Press, a small and independent press located in Nassau, The Bahamas, which produces handmade and limited edition chapbooks of Caribbean literature and promotes the crafts of book arts through workshops and creative collaborations. Her artwork has been exhibited throughout Nassau including at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. She is the author of “Infidelities” (Poinciana Paper Press, 2017) which was longlisted for the 2018 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. She has also self-published several chapbooks. Her poetry has won the 2011 Prize in the Small Axe Literary Competition and has appeared in various journals. She holds a BFA in Writing from Pratt Institute and is currently pursuing her MFA in Book Arts at the University of Iowa. 

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