Discover more from Perverse
There are lots of interesting things to say about this week’s poems, but I’d rather let you come to them yourself, without my waffle.
I hope you enjoy these poems.
(FYI if you are reading this on a mobile phone, it may be best to turn the phone sideways. Some of the poems are displayed as images, so make sure you’ve clicked “show images” at the top of this mail. If you’d rather read these poems in a PDF you can do so here, in this archive of previous issues.)
having nothing can feel like a joke.
eye lash on the ward wall
so little to express:
the nighttime grass, and her
giving this water birth digestion of limbs
broken water by oar fins
closes the meternal surface
of the more
A daughter researches her bloodlines
When you think about it, tucking the label
back into my husband’s shirt
is not that different from me eating him
to survive on a desert island.
The musk of cologne as I go
straight for the neck. He wouldn’t
flinch, wouldn’t question why
my hands are coming towards him.
He’s felt my skin on his skin
so many times before. Our little
tap on the back that says,
I’ve got you – it’s alright.
extract from “More on the Plums”
Olga Kolesnikova is a Russian-born, UK-based writer of poetry and fiction. They studied Creative Writing at Kingston University London and their debut poetry pamphlet Chronicology was published by Sampson Low in 2018.
Note on ‘Vodyanaya’:
“I’m obsessed with the concept of reproduction and birth. With ‘Vodyanaya’ I dove right into the waters of the womb, becoming a prehistoric, amphibian creature (my version of the Slavic water spirit, the vodyanoy) to celebrate the ending of bloodlines that reach back to the beginning of life on Earth.”
Kali Richmond is a lapsed video artist living in the north of England. Her poetry has featured in Gutter, The Babel Tower, Marble Magazine and more. Her debut pamphlet, Gradual Reduction to Bone, is out with Nine Pens.
Note on ‘A daughter researches her bloodlines’:
“The form used here is a ‘coupling’: a poetic invention by Karen McCarthy Woolf. You respond to a piece of prose line by line to create a series of couplets (in this case I used text from Histology of the Blood by P. Ehrlich and A. Lazarus). At its most basic there is contrast (detached med-speak vs gothic lore), but there is also a crease between call and response. I suppose I’m interested in the opportunity to hide a truth in plain sight.”
George Clutterbuck previously published a poem called ‘nephew’ in the Hollow Earth Review, recently started keeping a research blog called sustaining doubt, and currently works from North Devon. Thank you Love Hansell, for all your kindness and encouragement.
Note on ‘10/02/2021’:
“This poem’s contents were taken from several magazines and newspapers. Small pieces of tack, tweezers and a gluey paintbrush were needed. Blank pages can be daunting, and this process reifies the idea of writing as borrowing, inheritance, or petty theft. It’s enjoyable to think of poetry as a task of finding the right words, and there’s a sense of luck to this constraint. Somehow it does feel like freedom.”
Maria Ferguson is a writer and performer from Essex, now living in Leeds. Her poems have been published by Mslexia and Bad Betty and her debut collection Alright, Girl? (Burning Eye) was Highly Commended by the Forward Prizes.
Note on ‘Intimacy’:
“The poem came out of a Caroline Bird workshop where we were attempting to make the impossible possible. The writing prompt was to take something horrifying and compare it to a tender act - then somehow make it make sense! At the time I was thinking a lot about the trust and power dynamics within romantic relationships and how we express them.”
Samuel Rogers is a poet-critic and Senior Lecturer at UWE Bristol. His work appears in English, Streetcake Magazine, Symbiosis, Tears in the Fence, and the Yearbook of English Studies. His current research concerns the reading of poetry in healthcare settings.
Note on ‘extract from “More on the Plums”’:
“This poem is from a modular sequence called ‘More on the Plums’, consisting of individual squares of narrative (or ‘plums’) in varying sizes. The sequence began as a surreal conversation around food and consumption, involving myself, a single line of William Carlos Williams, and a web-based artificial intelligence. As the AI became better at mimicking human writing, I cut it out of the process, producing a robo-poetic of my own.”