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Medium 9781847772671

xxvii. in which the rastaman says a benediction

Medium 9781847770684

Actors (UD, 282/2)

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

undated poems


Not the mask only or the actor’s smile

(Each one is easy on the stage he makes) –

It is not our feigned sorrows which defile

Nor the rewards that fall upon our fakes.

‘My real self’ we say and mean the one

That pleases the precise complacent mood,

Simply the self we love when most alone:

We look upon our world and find it good.

Maybe the smile, the thin and painted face

Are truer than we ever wish to know

And ‘the real self’ a small imagined place –

The mask above and nothingness below.

The City

Declarations, powers, commerce. Stone squares with wide columns.

Men arguing, meeting. Birds disputing the wide territory. Hands lifted in admiration. A faultless mood of farewells.

Kings were here once. Dignity then in a person. Love not lost in images but moulded in flesh and blood. Balconies crowded with petals.

Warriors spattered with blood.

There was union then too with the elements. Water flowed through the city – vein in a great arm. Flows now too but in a different tide. Earth then was free and flowering. Later the stone, the entombing.

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Medium 9781574413090


Caki Wilkinson University of North Texas Press PDF


They tell you everything goes back to childhood, as if you could fathom that prelapsarian world packed in the basket of your first banana seat 1-speed, crack it like a buckeye and pick the meat of what you saw through the fourth wall you crouched by. Tidy latticework and shutters hid the inside’s lack of baths and stairs and, troubled, you shifted the shower stall from room to room with too much furniture— sealed wardrobes, chests of empty drawers.

And worse, the family didn’t mesh: one older child, a daughter/son in knickers melted flush with flesh; one baby like a swaddled raisin, abducted from some snowy crèche.

Why would the cookware set include a tub of Crisco, colander, and gravy boat—no knives or spoons?

And what about the escritoire, its little green glass banker’s lamp without a battery or cord, only a filamentless bulb?

Like any kid, you only wanted stories uniformly built— that’s why you made the collie stay guarding the hearth; her master, trapped inside the flue, had learned the flue was not a suction chute. Dislodged, he lounged before the gramophone, wishing for feet instead of shoes.

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Medium 9781885635136

Dusk by Flame

Rob Schlegel The Center for Literary Publishing ePub

The sudden insects and a shirt tossed onto the pond.

Faceless, the moths trouble nothing but the flame.

Isn’t it all—
the before and after of every gesture—remotely elegant?

The barn on fire and the wool of the shirt are trances.

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Medium 9781574414479

One of the Dummies at Night

Gibson Fay-LeBlanc University of North Texas Press PDF
Medium 9781847771322


Burt, Dan Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF


Standing behind a lectern on a box

To see above the microphones cocked

To catch my words, cornered in a pen

Made of clicking shutters and shouting men

I lost my way, Cortez above the sea.

No slave whispered ‘memento mori’,

I never saw jackals in the shadows

Holding their pens like Herculean arrows

In wait for cripples from dodge-ball games,

Or the bullet coming, like Jesse James.

In the Empty Quarter no phones ring

Lunch goes undone, the caravan dwindles.

You sit alone sorting hate mail and bills

For futures bought on notoriety,

Fingering mistakes and credulities

Like a mumbling Bedouin’s palsied hand

Telling prayer beads in a parched land.

When the dogs and kites rose from their mess

I downed Ecclesiastes, stiffed the press,

Stuck poultices to flesh where skin had been,

Traded leathers for suits, tucked a foulard in

And walked once more over London Bridge

Into the City.

Defeat is a scourge

That changes men: I’m always wary now,

Flinch from compliments, pat each smile down

For the powdered purpose that harbours grief

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Medium 9781847770684

On the Edge of My Mind

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

Because in all mundane and brief affairs

Rich love like this takes hold

Of future when we’re separate. Let tears

Be shed. It shows me love is lithe and bold.

I mutilate the memory of you

When I am fierce with pain

And cannot understand what broke us two,

Who were strong once, in half. But quiet again

I am the gratitude I learnt from your

Strong mind and generous heart.

The past is our good luck, loss is no more

When I think of the love you made an art,

Friendship an act of faith. You are not well,

Are early old and I

Must leave you elsewhere. But you’ve cast your spell

And left a magic which I can live by.

On the Edge of My Mind

It is on the edge of my mind, the tip of

My imagination, it is a

Theme of memory but much more. It is

A search, a ransacking, a bullying of the past,

A fight of my spirit with my spirit

But let me, let me be. I gaze out now

On a windy March four o’clock with a halfmoon already

Chalked on the sky, strangers pace by to a theme,

A rhythm not mine only my thoughts’. I am not concerned

With my childhood or first loving, but the first true flash

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Medium 9781574414479

Proof #4

Gibson Fay-LeBlanc University of North Texas Press PDF
Medium 9781847770998

The Boy on the Moor

John Gallas Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

I could cry for you, pushing this pain in my heart, for my life will fade from me too,

I feel it, all-sung and all-burned.

And then my body, poor scrap – just a greenwood grave and near, now near my nest, in my quiet home.

The Boy on the Moor

O it’s spooky crossing the moor when it’s swirly with fen and fog, and mists curling like ghosts, and netty fingers in bushes, and a squirt shoots up with every step, and the soft chinks hiss and sing,

O it’s spooky crossing the moor, when the reed-ranks cackle in the wind.

The shivering boy clutches his schoolbook and runs like a hunted thing; over the flats the hollow wind hurries.

What hacks in the hedges?

It’s the Otherworld Diggerman, who drinks off his master’s best peat;

Oo Oo a mad-cow moan!

The wee boy cowers in fear.

Stumpstands stare off the bank, the pine tree nods like a weird, the boy runs, ears all aware, through giant stalks like spears; and things dribble and swish in there!

It’s the Unhappy Spinner, it’s Cursed Leonore winding her wheel in the reeds!

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Medium 9781847770998


John Gallas Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781847770684

Notes for a Book of Hours

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

Yes, fire, light, air, birds, wax, the sun’s own height

I draw from now, but every image breaks.

Only a child’s simplicity can handle

Such moments when the hottest fire feels cool,

And every breath is like a sudden homage

To peace that penetrates and is not feared.

Notes for a Book of Hours


Kneeling to pray and resting on the words

I feel a stillness that I have not made.

Shadows take root, the falling light is laid

Smoothly on stone and skin. I lean towards

Some meaning that’s delayed.

It is as if the mind had nervous fingers,

Could touch and apprehend yet not possess.

The light is buried where the darkness lingers

And something grateful in me wants to bless

Simply from happiness.

The world dreams through me in this sudden Spring.

My senses itch although the stillness stays.

God is too large a word for me to sing,

Some touch upon my spirit strums and plays:

What images will bring

This moment down to words that I can use

When not so rapt? The hours, the hours increase.

All is a movement, shadows now confuse,

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Medium 9781847770684

Thinking of Love

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781847770998

To Khodaseyevitch

John Gallas Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781885635136

Lives of Daughter

Rob Schlegel The Center for Literary Publishing ePub

The Pacific readies fog
For coastal mountains

As night serves nothing
But sleep and animals
With strong vision.

Around the bulb of a sea iris
I wrap lace from a gown.

My daughter is a wave
On the dark ocean.

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Medium 9781847770684

Van Gogh

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

He always knows best.

He can tell you why you disliked your father,

He can make your purest motive seem aggressive.

He always knows best.

He can always find words.

While you fumble to feel for your own position

Or stammer out words that are not quite accurate,

He can always find words.

And if you accuse him

He is glad you have lost your temper with him.

He can find the motive, give you a reason

If you accuse him.

And if you covered his mouth with your hand,

Pinned him down to his smooth desk chair,

You would be doing just what he wishes.

His silence would prove that he was right.

Van Gogh

All your best paintings, I have heard, were made

When you were mad. I know you sliced your ear

Off, went insane. Yet only that church in

The Louvre might possibly suggest you had

Something that most men call a mental flaw;

Yet even there’s a woman with a thin

Bonnet and skirts raised from the dusty ground.

Detail you saw, and foolish men suggest

Such probing gazes are a sign of being

A little crazy, not quite balanced, found,

When tested, passionate, too much depressed,

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