Category Archives: Poems

Desperate Literature Residency

This January I had a residency in Desperate Literature , a bookshop in Madrid. I did a reading and produced a little book with some of my poems, including the ones below. Send me an email if you would like a copy, or stop in at the shop if you are in Madrid.

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Obvious Shapes

As well as the triangle

(stabbing)

I now have

a rectangle

on my forehead

red and stretching

towards my ears.

In this way I

inch towards children,

“Don’t talk to us.”

they can see it and

hear the grinding

(triangle)

in my chest.

Soon, my stomach grows a circle and

handsome men avoid me on the street.

 

Michael Cera is my celeb crush

Michael Cera is my celeb crush

du jour

I go to bed with him

around my head

protecting me

fuzzily

from all evil

especially terrorism

and then

counter terrorism

and then

late capitalism

in general I dream of his

unsure qualities and

wake up calm

and thirsty.

 

This is what happens when

my non-Michael Cera friends aren’t here

I Google

Michael Cera hot

Michael Cera girlfriend?

Michael Cera asshole?

Michael Cera sex scenes

which soak my algorithms in

honey haired

inexperienced visions of

Michael Cera

help.

Space

Between you and me there’s

  1. the time from when I first got here and felt afraid until now when I can say à plus.
  2. my dream about the feathered man and having sex with John (which of course I wouldn’t tell you about, but would think about with you in shot)
  3. you not drinking, not eating, and swimming in unknown shorts.

(I think of you at the pool and can’t quite believe that I’m allowed to touch yours or anyone’s chest)

Letters to Barnacle 2

My poem ‘A Rat’ is in the second issue of  Letters to Barnacle. Yup, you can buy it on Etsy.

A Rat

Whenever you release one of your volumes some animal part of me, think a rat, scans it for buried reference to myself.

As if you would mention me when, to you, I am just a legobrick of shared biography and taste that clicks with yours , clumsily,  if I’m there.

You live like this is the 60s

which is fine for you who is

timelessly fanciable

a man in leather shoes

on cobbled streets in Manchester

you think that this is Manchester and

that I’m only impressed by your shoes and

looking at them as I walk down cobbled

streets in old fashioned hats and coats

with your new wife, perhaps this is Manchester.

When we met alone that time from a distance

I saw you wave like a sharp

corner. You were not so slick then, but intense.

later I found out that you were not so slick but intense

with other women and I felt duller.

So, in what manner would I appear in your memoirs?

No manner except a raised eyebrow,

a swirling skirt at a party trying

to say a clever woman thing to say,

a hand on someone else’s arm,

pouring  a glass of wine,

raising it and it’s coffee

going dark and going home.

I use “you” here because I want to and,

yes, I have written a poem about you,

we all did

you’re that sort of person.

 

 

Letter To Barnacle

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I wrote a poem called Bed Sex, for the Glasgow based zine, Letters to Barnacle, which is inspired by James Joyce’s filthy letters to Nora Barnacle, check it out, the whole zine is dead rude.

Bed Sex

I dream I fuck an old woman and
 wake up more anxious than usual,
 perhaps because she’s looking away and as
 I spin her round her bum and boobs are
 so soft that she’s not an old
 lady now at all.

Next, a paternal presence with hyena mane
 closes down his shop so we can do
 it, but the customers keep on coming in
 and in and we feel guilty.

Tomorrow I am going to a fake forest, fearlessly
 to be touched as if there was no word like ‘touch’
 and no red, scratchy body either.

Sex!

Forza Zine

FORZA

Forza Zine is a beautiful and thoughtful publication, put together by my very good friend Rory Porter in Glasgow. The first issue is a collection of words and pictures centred around the themes of home, place, space and exile. I am pleased to have one of my poems, Times and Places i included in it and illustrated by the wonderful Liepa Kuraite.

 

Times and Places

How odd that you wake
 up with the man you love
 in a friend’s flat, but
 because of your dreams
 he seems
 different and then
 once he’s gone their
 flat is sad and cold? and
 you feel sad for them and
 the way their toilet is discoloured.

Then, you think you’re
 walking to Brixton but
 you end up in Clapham, which
 is just as grim
 as places

like Moreton

from your childhood and
you think you’ll
never get to Brixton

but then things

become comforting, and old and
to do with trains.

This day could be happening at any time from 1990 to
now, anywhere between Birkenhead and
here and it’s been 17 years to the day that
your brother was born
And you soothe
yourself that that wasn’t so long ago,

But why?

As if you could get back there,
as if you’d want to.

Exchange Book Launch Party!

About six months ago, my friend Louise Evans and I decided to “do a book”.  She sent me five pictures, which I responded to with a poem, and I sent her the same amount of poems, which she illustrated. We called the end result Exchange.

We’ve printing them, binding them by hand, and having a super cool launch party at The Feminist Library on 13th September, as part of their Salon series. 

They’ll be copies of Exchange to buy, and readings from me, Johanne Haugue, and Tracy Mathewson. Tracy will also be playing some accordion music, and they’ll be refreshments, and the library’s amazing book shop will have a stall.

Entry is by donation, with £3 as a suggestion. 

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