Glyn Maxwell, Tomas Venclova, Medbh McGuckian, and Adam Foulds – 27th Oct

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A room tucked away from the world, windows not meant to be opened. A city bitter as lemon, sweet as orange. A house cut from roots, stumps, brown black grit in the creases of your skin. Three words, three lines: they washed the ink off with milk. Lay a bloody rag on the curve of her belly. Is the milk thin enough, bland enough? Can you flick it from your fingernail and forget it was ever there? She should, she should, she should, she should, she should.

Word river, back and back and back again. The only thing moving is the story, but it is frightened by the wind. You could sit all day and drink beer, watch the bible pass you by, but join me instead on this zig zag path through nativity mayhem. You can laugh, it’s okay.

A train choked with politics. There’s a point when you’ve got to shoot them, red against a station wall. The quiet space of a father’s library, the telescope staring at the floor. He’s shot, the other one’s stabbed. Steps turned mountainous, blood runs across hands and a gun snapped in half. Secret smoking leaves stains on your teeth. The heat would have fogged up the mirror. Outside there are fields and numbers of people. Here there are books, polished candlesticks, spoons scooped low for tasteless soup.

Clouds mapped across a far off sky. Dawn, river, smoke. Ruins, salt, bread. Poems eased into life like negatives lain into shallow pools in darkened rooms. Snow sits on a balcony and only some of them touch the statue. Words breathe heavy, though no-one says them. Two men run across a city, until one stands on a train platform, knowing the other is lost. Letters trudge sludge across a river and suddenly we see the cityscape. The wire mesh is to stop them from jumping. Sit behind bars and imagine paper scraps on the breath of the wind – only some make it across to the other side. Angels hover above rails and concrete, and in a library, somewhere, the lights are on.

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One Response to “Glyn Maxwell, Tomas Venclova, Medbh McGuckian, and Adam Foulds – 27th Oct”

  1. Barbara S Says:

    Oooh this is eerie – especially the first para- I can hear Medbh’s work coming across!

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