A British Summer

My boredom chock-a-block
with furniture – the desk
in bits, the sofa cushions
cluttering the bed, drawers
shoved beneath the dresser
– I stare at Wimbledon
while listening to the man
restretch then clean
the carpets in two rooms.
Suds rumbling in their drum,
the smell of pine detergent
creeping up to me.

Two hours of plucky Brits,
mauve clouds, the covers on,
or grim-faced teenagers
washed up before their spots
have cleared, then I descend
like Norma Desmond,
out of touch, magnanimous;
and all the little dents
where chairs and tables stood
have disappeared, as though
the years of being here
had never happened.

by Stephen Knight

From 1-7 July, this week’s Weekly Poem publisher, CB editions, will be running a pop-up poetry shop at 201 Portobello Road in London. The Shop will be filled with books (from CBe, Eyewear, Arc, Five Leaves, Flipped Eye, and more), photographs by Ken Garland, and other things, and an excellent selection of writers will be calling in to do brief pop-up readings through the week. You can find out more from Charles Boyle’s Sonofabook blog here.

‘A British Summer’ is copyright © Stephen Knight, 2012. It is reprinted from The Prince of Wails by permission of CB editions.

Notes from CB editions:

The Prince of Wails is Stephen Knight‘s first collection of poems since Dream City Cinema (1996), which – like its predecessor, Flowering Limbs (1993) – was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and was selected by Robert Potts in the Guardian as a Book of the Decade: ‘A masterpiece in miniature, packed with surprisingly enthusiastic and musical treatments of entropy, whether universal or personal, by a top craftsman with a quirky and disconcertingly loveable voice.’ Stephen Knight’s novel Mr Schnitzel (2000) won the Arts Council of Wales Book of the Year Award. Born in Swansea, Stephen Knight now lives in London. Read more selections from the collection on the CB editions website.

CB editions publishes no more than six books a year, mainly poetry and short fiction and including work in translation. Since 2008 its poetry titles have twice won the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and have twice been shortlisted for both the Forward Prize and the Forward First Collection Prize. In 2011 CBe put on Free Verse, a one-day book fair for poetry publishers to show their work and sell direct to the public; the event was repeated in September 2012 with over 50 publishers taking part. Find out more about the publisher from the website, where you can also sign up to the CB editions mailing list, or ‘like’ the publisher on Facebook to keep up-to-date with its activities.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.