"Aspens": a poem by D H Maitreyabandhu

Thinking of the war
– a city mist
silver, sodden, blown,
 
the glow of streetlights,
all the buildings shown
as though through lint,
 
each room silent and intent,
no light, no lamps,
new weather
 
pressing on the pane –
well, it made me think of you
again, in France, in 1917 –
 
the stream you walked to
in a dream, heaving
and coiling into the abyss
 
where you lost your friend,
then lost yourself
under grieving aspens.

This article first appeared in the 23 September 2013 issue of the New Statesman, Can Miliband speak for England?

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"On Crutches" and "At Thirty Three"

Two poems by Joe Dunthorne.

On Crutches


Are you trying to say
you never leapt from a spinny chair
into the backing singer’s arms
at the gender-neutral barber’s soft launch
yelling “for I am the centrifuge,
all densities find kin within me” at which point
she – ha! – totally caught you
then whispered something tender to your charming,
harmless mole and next thing
it was dawn in the playpark as you shoulder-rolled
in dismount from the tyre’s ecliptic swing
– shoeless, by now, you maniac – coming down weird
and hard on your ankle which shivered
but did not crack – ha! – ha! – and so, in fact,
I have no fucking idea
how you hurt yourself – probably in the shower –
you horrid, impossible man.

 

At thirty-three

I finally had the dream
where I made love to my mother.
I kept saying you are my mother
and she said I absolutely am
then she phoned my father
and told him everything.

 

Joe Dunthorne’s new novel, The Adulterants, will be published in February. His poems are published in Faber New Poets 5.

This article first appeared in the 25 May 2017 issue of the New Statesman, Why Islamic State targets Britain

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