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Seán Hewitt: Evening poem

First the clatter-iron blackbird,
its fanatical shuddering in the magnolia:

dusk; and the garden is re-assembling,
calling its sparrows home,

and what a voice-racket under the aucuba
(doors closing to) and each sparrow

an iron-filing sweeping the field-lines
of the garden. I sit out in the last warmth

and watch it all come to rest:
the light falling, the thrushes settling

in the sycamores at the far end
of the lawn, how each tree lowers itself

under a new weight, and I hold out
for a while for everything to darken,

for the birds to stop singing, as though
I am teaching myself again to bear it.

 

Seán Hewitt won a Northern Writers’ Award in 2016 and is studying for a PhD at the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool.

This article first appeared in the 09 February 2016 issue of the New Statesman, The May Doctrine

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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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