Night in the City: A New Poem by James Bell

you can almost hear a siren’s distant howl
his cigarette is fresh and will take a while to smoke –
she will stand and wait for an answer

their window is closed against the night air,
noise and car fumes – they prefer their own temperatures
and aromas, half undressed or dressed

her perfume stronger; she wears a black skirt
and bra for heat rather than warmth – the red mask
hooked on the window frame is for a perspective

to see through any party masquerade
that has been or is yet to be – while
both sets of eyes are locked together

they see each other with the same expression – question
whether resolution will arrive before dawn

Bio: James Bell has published two poetry collections, the just vanished place (2008) and fishing for beginners (2010), both from tall-lighthouse. He lives in Brittany where he contributes articles and photography to an English language journal and continues to publish poems nationally and internationally. His recent print appearances include Tears In The Fence, Elbow Room, The Journal, Shearsman, The Stony Thursday Book, Under the Radar and Upstairs at Du Roc.

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Two Poems by Lesley Burt

Edward Hopper

The label on my suitcase …

… reminds me I do not belong.
Outside, sky darkens over a line
of could-be-anywhere mountains.

Electric light casts shadows around
plain walls, plain carpet, plain curtains;
and the chair with no cushion

where I drop my wrap; perch
on the king-size bed, careful
not to rumple its dull coverlet;

turn sideways from my Buick
parked by the window. Wait.
Anticipate that knock at the door.

(After ‘Western Motel’, Edward Hopper, 1957, Yale University Art Gallery)

Continue reading “Two Poems by Lesley Burt”

Remember Breton: A New Poem by Mary Jacob

Breton

White paste, skewed lips, hospital green
you have been drained of blood
your heart clenched tight around your throat
your hair is an oil slick, a shield, a shadow
the line down the centre of your face
jags left and right, dodging bullets
your ear is a walking cane
your shoulders an encampment
asteroids your eyes

Continue reading “Remember Breton: A New Poem by Mary Jacob”