Manhattan in early evening. Photo: WFinch/Wikimedia
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"A reading in New York": a new poem by Claire Potter

Sometimes listening closely to sirens in London, the context changes into a warm New York evening where the sash windows have been raised and there’s animated talk coming from upstairs and a cat’s slinking down the fire escape––trashcans are being shuffled against the sidewalk and water’s running down the brickwork next door. Dusk is falling in huge flakes of gold. I eat a brioche, crumbs tumbling like meteorites across the Times. It’s 6pm and I’m pulling on my jeans, detaching gum from my pocket, ratcheting my fly and running out the door to meet you at a reading.

 

Claire Potter is an Australian poet living in London. She is the author of two chapbooks and a first full-length collection, Swallow, published in 2010 (Five Islands Press, Melbourne).

This article first appeared in the 06 May 2015 issue of the New Statesman, The Power Struggle

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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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