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poetry

Three Poems

Poetry

February 2018

Belinda Zhawi

Poetry

February 2018

(this) black girl as shadow-boxer   Born soft, bulging, with sympathy & all manner of fruitful & barren laws, you cannot help but burst...

Poetry

January 2018

Three Poems

Susannah Dickey

Poetry

January 2018

And all the circus ponies had to go home   I   In the ticket booth a woman chews...

Universal Access   I have only ever lived among pollution Tell me it is not the sky I look at but an irradiated blanket, pitched between my street lamps and the real sky To that I say the real sky is immaterial, an idea cast too far back into the dark to matter My pollutions define me   As a child I favoured invented worlds, populated by tribes with kaleidoscopic cultures, another one always over the mountain ridge Today, in the city, the promise of a never spent or perfected flux is all that keeps me here The new thing ever opening Frontiers of the affordable and good   I am stranded in the middle of Moby Dick: p 274 out of 509 The Pequod, after listing in the South Pacific, has embarked upon its first ‘cutting in’, the process of safely flaying a whale of its blubber, which requires the whole crew to heave a hook-fed rope through the blowhole until everything gives at once, for the blubber envelopes the whale precisely as the rind does an orange   Part of me would sooner stay here There is too much to read Far from a complaint, this is only to state the necessary obverse of infinity’s appeal Were we to know that our present book was the last we were yet to read, its conclusion would be intolerable Heaven, then, must be to choose a fixed point, knowing the brawl of infinite, receding options, as if slipping into a particular chair while rain hammers on the skylight Here I can dip my fingers in the dripping hide   Through my browser I watch a documentary, free of charge, about a church repurposed as a data centre where a record of every web page is collected through time Truly, there is a holiness in this: shades of God’s forensic love for hair and sand As well as sites they preserve books scanned by human hand, so that Melville’s relishing and fretful bulk can expand along its ultimate democratic tangent to take its place beside the novel’s Wiki page, as captured on almost every day of its existence   A great wall:

Poetry

December 2017

Three Poems

Dai George

Poetry

December 2017

Universal Access   I have only ever lived among pollution. Tell me it is not the sky I look...

Prize Entry

November 2017

Dream Houses

Lucy Mercer

Prize Entry

November 2017

I forget       some days in Helepolis –  chapelles          of blue peaches  ...

Rendering intimacy impossible, deploy lifeboats (mark yourself safe) Not listening as such, more waiting to speak, above all mark yourself, it’s so important to be safe Carry on, they demand, we’re not reeling / we are reeling Is this the place for a fountain reference? Probably ‘What first attracted you to your wife, sir?’ ‘Her delicacy / her ankles / her hatred of the Tories’                  Alive twice over but that’s a whole life gone too                you know I’m sorry, he holds his hands up, I’m                sorry, he backs away: my conscience couldn’t                keep company with your body I say, your body?                it just made me think: it’s only a nine month stay   The next time you lay a hand on me, I’ll make a perfect gleaming dive into the Thames Aren’t you glad / to be here? I am
Electioneering

Prize Entry

November 2017

Helen Charman

In memory of Sandra Bland and Philando Castile   #1   Remember back in the heft of 2001? 7,227 items were delivered   to an old C&A in Oxford St – Landy sets up   a conveyor belt industrial shredders drills, saws clawhammers the violence of it and in them he puts his jeans his socks old shirts a stuffed toy bear family photos his car artworks his passport   he becomes       unidentitied              un-thinged   by white-gloved handlers   who place his belongings              gently into the shredder   or throw them into the trash compactor, joking              as if they’re on a production line   and they are, in fact, on a production line,              and then he is mediated by blades   and then, when he is              six tonnes of rubbish   it’s as if he has never              lived   all he can feel is his body his blue overalls   shock of cold air              on his neck   his eyes open his mother’s disappointment his father’s sheepskin jacket                           gone how could he he did afterwards,              his scalp is a buzz-cut tingle   his feet are holograms              he has never felt such who is the self where is he he is there and he is not there he is disappearing              the way men are always disappearing   in novels, and in pregnancies and here, in the gallery a man looks into his own life from outside dissolving – He makes a book              lists all the things                           300 pages a life he exhibits                           words
Breakdown

Prize Entry

November 2017

Seraphima Kennedy