I am the first of a new genus. I say to the insulating skin. I say to the motor of the feet. I say to the dent in the femur. I say to the alloys of the alleles. I say to the polished gleam of the bicep. I say to the rusting of the curtseying […]
I am very bothered when I remember all the terrible things I have heard. Especially when we are told the world is changing. If I am disgusted at the stories steeped in pain and left to brew in misery what do the victims feel? When their leggings/ skirts/ shorts are held under the weight of […]
All women are more than organised dust. During those silent hours, my mind sailed. Put faith in the ones you know you can trust. My desire to learn was seen as lust. Eve set the world spinning for us — God failed. All women are more than organised dust. In Newington Green, I did what […]
“It appears to me impossible that I should cease to exist, or that this active, restless spirit, equally alive to joy & sorrow, should only be organised dust … sometimes, when the sea was calm, I was amused by disturbing young star fish which floated just below the surface.” – Mary Wollstonecraft In the waves […]
“Taught from their infancy that beauty is woman’s sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming around its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.” – Mary Wollstonecraft Bones bones bones, Hanging from my lips are bones. Seeing bones, feeling bones, Hips, ribs and hidden bones, A ribbed cage. I wrap tinsel […]
My reputation died with me, so what? Decay is a wonderful smith. Bury a body of flesh or work, its skeleton slips through the fervid rot, awaiting a curious eye. Take these bare bones, do you see? I was the first of our genus, the squat fish to your swallow; dragging myself to new ground, […]
“It is justice, not charity, that is wanting in the world.” – Mary Wollstonecraft Sweet girl, Don’t give too much, for people don’t always keep their promises, but love them anyway.
He seized the day and shook it as it passed. And so it passed and so he seized the night and as he shook it cried I seized the night! and so it passed. He took an ancient play and moved the pieces here and there until he’d made a play about a man […]
the poem doesn’t have to be interesting, certainly, but it can be, if you want it to be. There is always going to be a market for ‘interesting poems’ whereas the market for ‘not interesting poems’ is generally less dependable though it is characterised by sudden bursts of enthusiasm: disinterest is a far wilder and […]
for my grandfather 1 Who minds the minders? To watch them watch you watch them watch each other watching you, as you walk along the Taedong River, down Revolution Avenue to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, past the Monument to the Martyrs of the People’s Party, past the guard-towers and interrogation rooms, labyrinths of […]
In the beginning it was cream and fucking peaches. In the middle it was like finding a simile so exact as to cease its working. Like finding an apple with another, smaller apple in the middle. In the early-middle it was like a bull in the chinashop of my lazy preconceptions, like a bull […]
You can have all the other sadnesses, the yellow leaf on the burnt path, the silverware hopelessly scratched, the evening news and the morning news, the funeral, the rotgut, the crappy tag sale, the dead fish seasoning the shore, the memorial, the wake, the Ono no Komachi poems, all of April 1998, the lunar new […]
We stalk the moon all month round, lick our lips, till the Adhan goes off on our phones, dig our teeth into the soft flesh of dates, wash it down with Roohafza, rinse and repeat. The scholars paste their eyes to the sky, the crowds trade their eyeballs for telescopes, watch the moon turn bashful, […]
Here, I am closer to the gaps in the sky where nine suns fell. I can touch the trails left by my husband’s arrows, where the night was almost unseamed. And Mother, I can look down at the clouds that drag like the hem of your dress. I can see the valley where you taught […]
The moon looking down at the carol singers. The moon looking down at carrots for the reindeer, wishing he could eat them.
I’m in my bedroom staring at the moon, wondering if I could ever visit him. From here, it looks like the moon is dancing in the light, as my shadow creeps across it.
laying in a bed of forget-me-nots and wild garlic all Ophelia all bone and froth, you know, the way they paint girls I saw a dolphin arc over the moon, that great voluptuous croak (I kid you not) and then I looked around and I was laying on the moon, and it […]
The Earth held tight to what it had been given; those clear skies, that startling life. It held me to be a woman, gravity-bound. Wife with no husband, mother to the stars. A goring crescent. Sharp slice of lithium consuming itself. I was Selene and Sina, stray Chang’e, a goddess dissolving on the night’s tongue […]
old Mount Mikasa under the unchanging glow waited, too – in vain nightly rose the cry: two shipwrecks and a war away lies my native land but the rabbit, hunched, pounding eternal rice cakes lends no ears to sorrow and so the poet immortalised by his longing lays his brush to rest.
Still they say I am moon full, swollen with light and spilling over floorboards. Rippling with tides, roaring with dreams, ready to consume and ready to release, bleached white bones flung to a bleached white beach. Still they say I am moon stung, hymning […]
What about Cheerios, awash in the milk of the night or the chalk dust of toast – imagine the stars swiped from the sky by a napkin. A cereal bar, with rivers of yogurt and chocolate aliens of dried apple – I am decorated with wrappers like aeronautical debris. My granddad told me the moon […]
History At the age of thirteen, I wielded a blade because I had a firm grip, I was in love with Shakespeare, and the school team needed an épéeist. When my mother flew to Linz to watch me go 3–4 down against a former champion, she gripped the railing until her marriage ring was folded […]
Bedtime, it’s always that book about a man who climbs a very long ladder to draw down the white sliver when his daughter can’t sleep. The ceiling of dad’s spare room glows green with plastic stars, comets and crescents. An IKEA mobile strings a green planet, orange rings, yellow stars and a blue rocket. Too […]
Sometimes the Moon when newly risen sits as if a remnant in a bay, like it’s a wounded boat – or else balloon as it deflates; old soft crab-apple caught in the cleft of a bare tree. It sails out this evening sallow over Bungay, beyond the looming stretches where I drive through the dark, […]
The moon through chimney-curling smoke a milk balloon tied by tv aerial bars suspended in cold blue. Intermission birds encircle, play their winter games in dying light as clouds obscure the screen a deeper shade grisaille. Naked black-laced branches signal a watershed divide. Suddenly, silver Houdini transported to a higher sphere, illusion’s trick. A solitary […]
We come from an empty room where we slept on cold air. There’s ice in the grass. Night is an envelope. There have been other moons: spills of orange, clear faces, crescents framed by windows, coins turned in pockets but oh! this deluge of light, vast slow invasion of the house – making a space […]
The sun is pulled below the far-off hill and at my back the super blood wolf moon climbs slow to light the folds of moor on this eclipse, as snowdrops break from winter’s cold, life rises from the still-chilled earth but with the buds and shoots come grief when we are gone, imagine tarmac overgrown […]
Wash your hands in the blood of a million dandelion clocks, coat yourself in onion skin, the paper, the pearly layers make the congregation weep in longing. They don’t know why, just out of reach. Scud a puck of soap under your nails for protection. Line the windowsills with fertilised eggs and […]
Right royally we’d screwed up, splashed out on non-essential starches and yeasts, spreed through a month’s wage one Wednesday night till emptied pockets hung loose and sad like donkeys’ ears. So we stooped low at the fountain of dreams, stole pounds and pence from tiled shallows, coins […]
A Golden Shovel after ‘On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous’ by Ocean Vuong You light candles for every ghost of your blood, bend to say your prayers, burn joss to mask the smell of surrender. You pile plastic fruit at the shrine and queue for rations. Remember to say cảm ơn, even in the eye of […]