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Prussian Blue by Ben Tufnell

In his head there is

a hotel: silvered windows,

a view of water,

always calm.

Silvered windows

and empty rooms

where ghosts rattle about

like marbles in a skull.

Stars bob and sway

in the Prussian Blue sky

that floats before his eyes

where stars drift loose

like reflections of light

on the sea, and where

he drifts loose, like a doll

within a doll; a Russian toy

or a boat without an anchor;

a doll within a doll within

a doll’s house, above a lake

where light floats loose,

and a skull rattles about

a marble hall,

a stone avenue,

full of toys and light,

floating loose

on Prussian Blue

seas, below a hotel

full of Russian ghosts


Ben Tufnell is a curator and writer based in London. His most recent book is In Land: Writings Around Land Art and Its Legacies (Zero Books, 2019).


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