He thinks he’s sharp enough to slice the earth in two when he wields the weapon of his body to the wind: all sword and spine, he makes a swipe at the sunlight but misses – the soil spatters out a laugh as it tugs this restless flame back into its place. Answer: […]
supermarket treasure. find me beneath fluorescent lights. i melt orange, glow incandescent. i could be the 5pm sun, horizon-swallowed, kitchen witchcraft rolling off the dim-lit countertop. i hit the ground and carry on—i don’t know where to stop. it is easy to get under my skin, to examine my earth— space station sights of city […]
I bind my catch in heavy folds like a shroud. Use soiled sheets to blind and gag, then dress each scaled and feathered frame with coils of silk; basted black. Answer: an oil spill
I’m the icing on the cake I carry the footsteps of penguins. My name is like a chocolate bar. I’ve got a thing about falling. You draw me in maths class. There’s many words for me. I have a bad relationship with the sun. You leave me with the angels. Bring out the dark glasses.
She prophesies the new spring, her white dress, her bent head in shame of the bland beauty she has. Her veined hands point to the sky, she is growing in bundles, she’s showing us spring.
Under cover of night, slowly, slightly, line by line, from the very tips of our little fingers, we begin to carve into the skin, line by line, from the very tips, we draw in red cracks. We begin to carve into the skin across the lower back, the hips, we draw in red cracks under […]
As the morning unfolds I hide away Until I am less than A gloomy puddle But as I get closer to Identifying the stars I unfurl Stretching into the night
Across the North Sea, in ages past, rode longships lit with fire-sprites. The wooden gift they send us now’s this Christmas tree of fairy-lights. From forest-dark to bright-lit square this tree has sailed across the sea – a present sent for friendship’s sake, from them to us, for you and me. Sailing the friendship ship […]
From Nîmes it came through the valleys, up the single-track road. Two gendarmes and the mayor, our neighbour Bernard too, watched as thirty tons of iron and steel unfolded, an origami limb dropping the line – straps in place, it hoisted the car twenty, forty feet, the river pouring from it, half a […]
it transpires that telling your GP you are concerned with your ephemerality will not accomplish a great deal. there is no prescription currently available to cure such fears and any decent psych would be too much of the same mind to help. moreover the doctor’s surgery only exacerbates the problem, after all – in what […]
It perches there, ripe and globular; knitted together from the pinks of the world, orbiting its own red roundness like a planet collapsing; […]
His hellos like snow in the desert like gulping air after five years under. Him saying your name like first summer rain like sunset orange like tumblers in a lock like you might be his.
Under 17 days of ash, Robert Landsburg rises and wipes dust from his backpack. Unwraps his camera; unwinds film from its casing. He’s up on shaking legs; begins to click the shutter release, as the cloud of black and heat recedes, and the air shrieks. He stands and watches as the mountain implodes.
Just sort of floating. Letting everything become a carousel. It comes in waves. It runs to the moon of the wiretrap nervous system and nudges you into a black hole. […]
secrets are sticky rice packages tied with coarse string. they sit in red stomachs swallowed in black pulsing lungs under a yellow gravestone.
John Burnside was born in 1955 and is the author of eleven collections of poetry and five works of fiction. Burnside has achieved wide critical acclaim, winning the Whitbread Poetry Award in 2000 for The Asylum Dance which was also shortlisted for the Forward and T S Eliot prizes, and winning the 2011 T S […]