Richard Branson

My love, I feel like this print of Rothko.
I am small and glassy and I want to impress you,
even if it means murdering one of your work colleagues.

You think if you stare long enough at your noodles
you’ll see the combination to the safe.
I don’t have the heart to tell you the truth.

Even the elephant on the 20 Rand note
you gave me for good luck back in 2009
will end up spent in the end.

You adjust my tie and I grow a little older.

On cold hungover days, the white sun follows us
through Jesus Green to the Carphone Warehouse.

Shrek watches from the electrical shop across the street;
seven Shreks, running in parallel across a burning rope bridge.
It’s impossible to root for any of them.

A millionaire’s hairstyle
is trapped in the era they first made their money.

The air turns green above the poles of the Earth.

by Ross Sutherland

The Poetry Centre’s latest podcast, featuring the poet Gill Learner (whose poem ‘About the olden days’ was the Weekly Poem on 4 June 2012), is now live! Visit this page to hear Gill read her poem ‘The power of ice’, and discuss it and her work in general. You can find out more about Gill’s collection The Agister’s Experiment on the Two Rivers Press website.

‘Richard Branson’ is copyright © Ross Sutherland, 2012. It is reprinted by permission of Penned in the Margins from Emergency Window (Penned in the Margins, 2012).

Notes from Penned in the Margins:

Ross Sutherland was born in Edinburgh in 1979. A former lecturer in electronic literature at Liverpool John Moore’s University, Ross works as a freelance journalist and tutor in creative writing. His first collection, Things To Do Before You Leave Town, was published in 2009, followed by the limited edition mini-book Twelve Nudes in 2010 and the e-book Hyakuretsu Kyaku in 2011. Ross is a member of live literature collective Aisle 16, and has toured solo and collaborative shows nationally and internationally. Emergency Window is his second full collection, and its ‘lucid observations, smart conceits and insight into the contemporary world’ have been praised by The Independent. Discover more about this latest collection at the Penned in the Margins site here, where you can also enjoy Ross Sutherland reading his poem ‘Liverish Red-Blooded Riffraff Hoo-ha’.

Penned in the Margins is an independent publisher and live literature producer specialising in poetry and based in East London. Founded in 2004, the company has produced numerous literature and performance events, toured several successful live literature shows, published over twenty-five books, and continues to run innovative poetry, arts and performance projects in the capital and beyond. Their recent anthology, Adventures in Form, was awarded a Special Commendation by the Poetry Book Society and was chosen as one of 50 Best Summer Reads by The Independent. You can visit the Penned in the Margins website here to sign up to the mailing list, and follow the publisher on Facebook and Twitter.

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