Saturday, March 08, 2008

Left to mature for a decade


The Language of Desire

When their faces took her
into that swimming heat,
it was all iron and alcohol.

The first step crushed her.

The second step woke her.

The third step came over

like a wave on the shore,
beating its silvery tongue
against her lungs, filling her
with the ache of recognition.

She was a catamaran,
arching her delicate blues
into the hull of an ocean.

The sea stumbled
and parted, floating her fine net
like a windsail before it.


This short poem, with one minor revision, comes directly from my lost poem sequence Umbra.

It was first published in Steven Waling's now defunct poetry magazine Brando's Hat in the spring of 1998 - i.e. ten years ago! - under the title 'When their faces took her'.

The only reason this poem survived the loss of the physical manuscript is because 'Brando's Hat' is now fully accessible online, so I was able to retrieve five poems from that source. The rest - some 30-odd poems - appear to be lost forever.

It will appear under this new title, 'The Language of Desire', in my third collection, Camper Van Blues, due out from Salt Publishing later this year.


Sorlil said...

Nice! I particularly like the penultimate stanza. The poem has that strong sense of movement of pulling me right through to the end that I really enjoy about your work.

Jane Holland said...



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