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poetry

On some level, I’m sure, every poem is a failure A lot of theory says as much, and I have always thought this was to do with our desire to reach out and touch the things that poems clamour to caress But failure is so easy to claim, it’s less a matter of Icarus falling into the sea than the boy canon-balling in the swimming pool Which is forbidden for a reason As a young boy, I was ashamed of my body, and I insert this detail just to personalise the dryness of the problem that I’m presenting, which is how to make a poem touch a person? How can you guarantee, with the only things you have to work with, what poets over-generally call form, that you can move someone? It can’t be by self-exposure, or maybe it can, but I can’t do that I looked over at you reading in the library before we really touched each other, and continued to think about the ways a poem might somehow not reproduce the logic of late capitalism So many years down the line, the distance is so much larger; I thought that everything was a love poem, provided that it collapsed I thought it was the single frozen moment of the splash that we apprehend after the fact and remember as beautiful It was you who made me feel the inadequacy of my justifications, that I had expected that failing to love you would be easy
From 'Head Sonnets'

Prize Entry

November 2018

Hugh Foley

1 Modotti, Adrienne Rich I am struck by the line If this is where I must look for you, then this is where I’ll find you I read it several times, scrawl it on a note and stick it to the wall In the seminar that week I mention the poem but no one else has read it, so the burden falls upon me to describe it, explain (unpack, as the tutor creatively says) why it is emotionally striking, and why in particular it was so significant to me Certainly I do not mention that we are, in fact, A It is the week of epitaphs and as the dead rise I am trying to put you to rest To call you a ghost is ungenerous, it is not your fault I am haunted I have been told I can trace your face through mine and so I have sought and found you, every now and again, in the fold of my eyelids, the curl of my lip and the bump of my nose December is the cruellest month, I whisper to my room, gazing at the mirror, fingertip on nose curve I have told no one that we are rapidly approaching the fifth anniversary of your death, or that this week is hell for   anyone who has experienced grief Instead I posit (tutor’s word, not mine) that reading it-self is an act of resurrection Should we abide by the notion that the text is the vi-brant and living space between reader and writer, then of course to read an epitaph, to engage in memorial, is to summon the ghost subject and renew its life Quick note in the corner of my sheet: Write about her We progress through assigned reading, onto Walter Benjamin: The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction We take it at face value initially, discuss our thoughts on art, then eventually begin to apply it to our epitaphs The word aura gains a spectral

Poetry

November 2018

Ways of Reading I

Aea Varfis-van Warmelo

Poetry

November 2018

rapidly approaching the fifth anniversary of your death, or that this week is hell for   this is the...

Prize Entry

November 2018

bangable dudes in history

Charlotte Geater

Prize Entry

November 2018

we collected together all of the scientists and historians & i said okay, how about him. he was a...

From a past life I am warning you that I have come into my grand unified theory My cheeks are swollen, my tongue changed, I know every dirty bruise on me hides a windrose or hydrangea The latest moon outlives us I have faith in its flood of electrical slogans I dreamt the bodies irradiated that terminal hall like a few violets in the mud; via the glass, the violent view, a military jet blooms its buds I did not mind so much the dreaming, and yet I still desired to make my way over, to cross in to your threshold Under the departure screen I slept so the numbers would not see me I was just an avatar in the prayer room resting or resurrecting Who still remembers the Nabateans? The queue was over After the drones, life after life, the heritages were in danger I folded myself with the headlines so that I would have nothing to declare Believe me when I tell you this:   > I was not going to kill anybody / I was undecided / I pressed the buttons to check myself in / I lived it / I escaped it
The Last Life

Prize Entry

November 2018

Jay G Ying

Two Poems

Poetry

Issue No. 23

A. K. Blakemore

Poetry

Issue No. 23

MAY   you slid into my life as though a witch’s smock — a sun poem.   fat bee on a bright brick wall...