A.K. Blakemore’s tapeworm mixtape

A.K. Blakemore’s poems ‘dicks like jesus’ and ‘mouse’ are published in The Poetry Review, 108, No 2. 

1. ‘A Voluptuous Dream During an Eclipse’ by Elaine Kahn

I was lucky enough to see Elaine Kahn read with Ariana Reines recently, and she wore an amazing see-thru blouse, was generally badass and languid. This was the first poem of hers I encountered, and it feels so secret and special and disgusting. I treasure it very much.

2. ‘Healers’ by Sophie Collins

This is one of my favourite poems from Sophie’s new collection, Who is Mary Sue?, and also one I find quite (much maligned word) adorable, from child saint to creaking scaffold.

3. ‘Her Legs’ by Robert Herrick

A good friend sent me this tiny thing by cavalier poet Robert Herrick during a particularly thankless term when we were both undergraduates. One of a very few poems that makes me smile every time I read – or, actually, remember the existence of – it.

4. from The Red and Yellow Nothing, ‘VII – A Dark Interlude’ by Jay Bernard

I’ve followed Jay Bernard for many, many years now – their poems were some of the first contemporary (in the sense of, by someone of about my own age) poems I really felt I could inhabit, have access to. The Red and Yellow Nothing is such a freaky, unusual little pamphlet, which completely changed my approach to extended narrative poems – and this section, in which ‘Darkness herself’ comes across the body of sleeping knight Morien, is particularly tender.

5. ‘Property of Pigeons’ by Mina Loy

I’m trying to make everyone I know read Loy’s Lost Lunar Baedecker, which drove me to a state of basic frenzy. Of all the beautiful poems therein, I’m choosing this, one of her later pieces, for the description of their ‘innocent excrements’.

6. ‘extracts from lemon, egg, bread’ by Laura Elliott

lemon, egg, bread is a book I keep returning to like I might absorb some of its distilled, delicate perfection by osmosis. That hasn’t happened yet, but it does seem to have a bromide effect – like scrolling through one of those instagram feeds of things that have been meticulously arranged.

7. ‘Outbound’ by Hieu Minh Nguyen

I first came across Hieu Minh Nguyen’s work in an issue of Poetry London, was summarily hooked. Outbound just has this evocative, American, effortless sweep going on.

8. ‘Chaplinesque’  by Hart Crane

I just really like cats, & cat poems.

A.K. Blakemore is the author of two full-length collections, Humbert Summer (Eyewear, 2015) and Fondue (Offord Road, 2018).