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Helen Charman
Helen Charman's writing can be found in The White Review, the Guardian, Poetry Review, the Stinging Fly, the Baffler, frieze, and elsewhere. Her poetry pamphlets Daddy Poem (SPAM) and Worry work (Earthbound Press) came out in 2019 and 2020 respectively, and her next, In the Pleasure Dairy, is forthcoming from Sad PressShe finished her PhD, on maternity and capitalism in nineteenth-century fiction, in 2019, and teaches at the University of Cambridge and Camberwell College of Arts. Based in Glasgow, she is currently Commissioning Editor at MAP magazine.

Articles Available Online


Where do I put myself, if public life’s destroyed? On reading Denise Riley

Essay

May 2020

Helen Charman

Essay

May 2020

How do you read someone who doesn’t always want to be read? This is a question I used to ask myself when I was...

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Book Review

October 2018

Sally Rooney’s ‘Normal People’

Helen Charman

Book Review

October 2018

Reading Sally Rooney’s second novel Normal People is a compulsive experience. After the navy blue Faber & Faber proofs...

JOY OF THE EYES   The future is not the beginning, but the forerunner, of a new intense-formation   The first time that you see me, you will see me, without implication of time   The future expresses what is going to take place at some time to come, adding on the one hand an implication of will or intention, on the other hand of promise or threatening   If you, villain, had not stopped [prāgrahīṣyaḥ] my mouth, Without any implication of time   Circles of future and desiderative border one another; the one sometimes expected where the other might be met   I, conditional, want you to stop my mouth; will you stop My mouth encircles the sustain of these refusals: Sometimes and unexpected, unreasonable and polite   If you, beautiful, would perceive this new stress-formation, Reducing the noise of our [śyas] tomorrow, Heads shaved, future universe, ‘victorious banners unlowered’   Discipline of desire begins in the mouth         PENSIVE REFLECTION   Imagine a time in which you feel happy In your happiness, you imagine another time in which you feel unhappy You are in bed, your love is in your arms; the room is cold and it belongs to you   This is the tower of the past The battlements are formed of anthills, the anthills the curves of the goddess, the curves snakes agreeing sealing themselves away Lookouts lie face down, mouths open to the earth, swallowing the matter of their warnings Lookouts are snakes   In your unhappiness, you imagine another time in which you feel happy You are standing, you catch sight of your love across the room One or both of you is wearing a uniform The room is warm; it does not belong to you   The tower is oversaturated and impossible to date Lookouts’ mouths fill with earth, earth itching, itching converting warning to retch Lookouts reduce the noise of their retching; snakes containing the warnings in the smoothed lines of their swallows   This is how to conjugate the old future tense    

Contributor

November 2017

Helen Charman

Contributor

November 2017

Helen Charman’s writing can be found in The White Review, the Guardian, Poetry Review, the Stinging Fly, the Baffler, frieze, and elsewhere. Her poetry pamphlets Daddy Poem (SPAM)...

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


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