After Frank O’Hara
When waves were far enough away
and the pumpkin seeds still as amber
in the treasure chest, the calls tumblingly
came to crook the paintings, writings, all.
Now your voice falls like a coin to the ocean’s floor
and the house is dragged apart by the fractures
of your smiles – the thought of its absence echoes
unbelievably – our breath opens like a stiff drawer.
You are everywhere and nowhere, you are
the unfinished cup of tea and its straw,
dipped like a paintbrush. I want to keep
the yoghurts that went out of date yesterday.
by Claire Trévien
Near Oxford this week? Come along to OutBurst, the Oxford Brookes Festival at Pegasus, which runs from Tuesday to Saturday. Showcasing cutting-edge research from across the university, the festival features a fantastic range of events and activities for all ages: hear some of Oxford’s best young writers in an event hosted by Kate Clanchy; explore the connections between technology and modernist literature with Eric White; join English PEN for an evening about how publishing and human rights campaigns can join forces; hear the results of a collaboration between the Poetry Centre and the Archway Foundation about mental health; and write a haiku inspired by spring and display it in the Pegasus garden. Visit the website to learn more about these and the many other events this week, and book tickets via the Pegasus Box Office on 01865 812150 (11-4pm).
‘The Shipwrecked House II’ is copyright © Claire Trévien, 2013. It is reprinted by permission of Penned in the Margins from The Shipwrecked House (Penned in the Margins, 2013).
Notes from Penned in the Margins:
‘The Shipwrecked House II’ is from Claire Trévien’s debut collection of the same name, which was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. Trévien’s is a surreal vision, steeped in myth and music, in which everything is alive and – like the sea itself – constantly shifting form. You can read more about the collection on the Penned in the Margins website, and hear Claire discuss her work in a Poetry Centre podcast. You can also follow her via her website or on Twitter.
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.
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.