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poetry

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:
Three Poems

Poetry

December 2017

Dai George

fulljustify {text-align: justify !important; max-width:400px !important; line-height:08rem !important; }fulljustify:after { content: “”;display: inline-block;width: 100%; } The work takes her to Amsterdam, LA & Seoul Or else, it’s work in the studio with the old toilet bowls stuffed with soil and seedlings, cold light streaks each morning early, the school playground crashing up next door A recurrent cat It’s true she works most days, the routine becoming normality, just work This, her office, her desk Here’s the most recent, what she’s been working on for weeks now – months? – existing before it’s itself, bleeding paint So, how does it work, then – I mean, physicalities, substance shift, where daily work turns to more than just that? The brush pots, clippings, tinted tea mugs, dead colour worked into wall creases, packages marked ‘sold’ stacked by thick catalogues webbed in dust; out of, I’d almost call it junk, the whole works, it is made – the work
Work Study

Prize Entry

November 2017

Lavinia Singer

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

Prize Entry

November 2017

Breakdown

Seraphima Kennedy

Prize Entry

November 2017

In memory of Sandra Bland and Philando Castile   #1   Remember back in the heft of 2001? 7,227...

BROOD   after Goya’s Pinturas Negras   Saturn never expected to devour his children,   his fingertips digging into their ribs, light   -headed Didn’t start out weeping, or sense   as he hid in his winter bath on that murky morning   up to his eyes gazing over   the loosely level surface that healed   its holes as his knees withdrew And he didn’t   remember it later that night, even after   he found dried blood in his nails The steady rush   was all he recalled, a creek after rain, a head slumping   forward, a riddle resolved One son he had raised   to the light like a t-shirt he’d worn   every day for weeks on end for a band   he could no longer stand             GROUNDED   if                                                                                                                                   then they                                                                                                                            climb nod off                                                                                                                your roof as static                                                                                                          hail a cloud drowns the anchor’s voice     
Three Poems

Poetry

November 2017

Eric Berlin