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Showing posts from January, 2011

The Suitable Girl - Michelle McGrane

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I'm delighted to be able to post a poem from Michelle McGrane's recent collection 'The Suitable Girl', published by Pindrop Press . Princesse de Lamballe He skewers my matted, blonde head on a pike, shows me the city's less-fêted sights: growling alleys and ravenous back streets guttered with urine, nightsoil and vermin; toothless, frayed women queuing for bread, each coarse, weevilled loaf fourteen copper sous; the Hôpital des Quinze-Vingt's shuffling inmates tapping for alms amid the stalls of Les Halles; Saint-Marcel tanneries' frame-stretched hides kneaded supple with beef greaves and brains; the Seine choked with debris and tangled milfoil, a carcass sliding into the Pont Neuf's shadows. The Queen's playing tric-trac in the tower, twenty guards flanking the Temple's iron portal. She's raised the stakes, the bone dice clattering across the pearwood and ebony board. The scrofulous sans-culotte belting Ça Ira braces my face to the cro

Two poems by Mark Burnhope

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Our Jonah of Boscombe Pier after Z. Herbert We will say this for him: at least he had enthusiasm. That whale was beached for so much time, signs were raised. Keep off the rough barnacled blubber. Those are teeth, not baleen for benign filtration. I can only speculate: he walked Leviathan’s crash-mat spine, nearly plugged the blowhole with a boot, for he wished to re-enter into those magisterial tales of whales and the men who swallowed them. Animal Studies Taxonomy We used to call bits of our house by collective nouns – idle of sofas, gleam of lamps, tinkle of teaspoons – as they do for animals. When she left, I willed every evening to scuttle back under the gravel, one day gathered a grief of takeout leaflets, flung my fold of furniture into the van, moved to a one-man flat in a town overrun with one-man flats and released the whole – idle, gleam, tinkle, grief, fold – resolved to call them all by brand-new names. Habitat Destruction I walked the town’s greed

December Poems

A belated round up: One poem included in Ink Sweat & Tear's The Twelve Days of Christmas , alongside such great poets as Penelope Shuttle, Simon Barraclough and David Morley; and another in the same webzine a few days earlier titled 'The Downs' .