National Poetry Day; or, the day I let you see some of my own poetry
Without further deliberation…
She went down in the harbour,
blue as a fishing bob – once, twice –
something caught her before the third drop;
shoulders switched with feet and the water
came out, rushing,
her alimentary tract (pickled with salt)
dried out, inside-out
like a pale, French Tutankhamun;
she blanketed on the stone wall – a ray
in a summer dress,
I am on a swing and I am looking very hard
at a perfume advert held in a glowing
glass rectangle, a blister on the side
of a bus shelter.
A woman with facial skin
like a laundered shirt is trying
to seduce me into reaching out
for the glass globe in her hand.
An interesting colour, like the wrapper
of expensive chocolate, gleams on the fat flank
of this globe
and in the woman’s lower lip.
I am swinging as high as the chains
will allow, holding a staring contest
with this well-pressed lady;
the evening is dusty and humid,
my linen shorts tight on my dimpled thighs.
I am the unsexiest thing in the world –
fourteen, mouth rigged up like a theatre,
eyes squashed by glasses. I am wishing
my left breast would catch up with the right.
I want to be as preciously held
as the woman with the perfume.
The Unfaithful Man
The unfaithful man left his wife
at the garden gate; white
with wheaty baking dust,
for two days in the dew.
On the third morning the man traipsed
out of a garish taxi that didn’t belong
to the local fleet.
“Where did you go?”
whispered his wife.
“Alaska,” he smiled, and pushed
a stuffed polar bear
into her arms.
Other poetry-centric things for you:
“Quick, Phoebe, the oven!” – take a look at this year’s Foyle Young Poet winners;
Buy a poetry anthology from Salt Publishing, and help support their work – I’ve ordered The Glass Delusion by Abi Curtis;
Enter your own work into The Attys, judged by Margaret Atwood