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  2. Poetry
23 February 2022

The NS Poem: Weirdos

A new poem by Ben Wilkinson.

By Ben Wilkinson

A burp of laughter in the boardroom
or sombre at a birthday party,
we spy each other quick as sweat.

Fitful sleep in the passenger seat?
Check. Introspective in rain like you
forgot your own name? You bet.

Here’s a gin in a whisky tumbler
to us, who sit in the theatre’s
singular dark to watch the full

credits run and beyond; who hear
the fox’s cry in the night and think
it some portent; who seriously

work away at poems, as if poems
might shape strangeness into charm,
or box the latest faux pas we’ve

played over and over and over
in the auditorium of our thoughts
this long deserted night. Day comes

just as surely as we are ourselves,
goggle-eyed and fretful by turns,
weird fish preoccupied with water.

Ben Wilkinson’s second collection “Same Difference” will be published on 28 February by Seren Books

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This article appears in the 23 Feb 2022 issue of the New Statesman, Darkness Falls

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
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