Francisco Goya Self-Portrait    [Oil on Canvas, c.1815, Prado, Madrid]

Terrors are eyes’ dust
of my dogs and monsters,
giants and catholics and kings;
their internecine wars
growl into my dead ears’
cloven expectations,
climb up the very walls
to hive the time again
towards existence
and the almost possible.

Thus can I show the horror vision grants
behind the tremor of our sight and skin,
draw out the dark that age has patterned.
Knuckle lead white and carbon
sour on bones’ illusions
now beyond all courts and favours
can I step back into the shadows’ mysteries
and dear God’s hopes of favours;
fight back in dark oils and stark
against the blank and surface of the world
that etches past the brain’s protective bones
as dry and marrowed out of copper
into the aqua vita black and resurrections
pressed through the arc of devils and their dams
in silence just behind the hum of pain
throbbing again from out my mother’s
body of light gave life to the bright earlier beings
of pastel pales and greens under blue clouds
that scattered into sight and silence
just behind the scream.

It will be saved
    as I
without the need of sound
that vision hides behind
and drags the horrors into
the beautiful
even without the mind’s
obedience to its call.

by David Pollard

A reminder that The Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre is inviting all members of the local community to join us in celebration of National Poetry Day on Thursday 2 October 2014 by performing poetry in our Pop-up Poetry event.
 The performance will be a part of a series of Pop-up Poetry events featured around Oxford exclusively for National Poetry Day. Should you wish to take part, we would need you to have around five minutes of material to perform. We encourage you to read your own work and/or the work of other poets. If you would like to participate, please send us an e-mail at including your name and a sample of the poetry you would like to read, by Friday 5 September 2014.

‘Francisco Goya Self-Portrait’ is copyright © David Pollard, 2013. It was published by Waterloo Press in Self-Portraits in 2013, and is reprinted here by permission.

Notes from Waterloo Press:

David Pollard has been furniture salesman, accountant, TEFL teacher and university lecturer. He has published The Poetry of KeatsA KWIC Concordance to the Harvard Keats’ Letters, a novel, Nietzsche’s Footfalls, and four volumes of poetry: patricides,Risk of SkinSelf-Portraits and bedbound. Find out more about David Pollard’s work from his website, follow him on Twitter, and read more about his latest collection from the Waterloo website.

Waterloo Press offers readers an eclectic list of the most stimulating poetry from the UK and abroad. We promote what’s good of its kind, finding a commonality amongst the poets we publish. Our beautifully designed books range from lost modernist classics, translations and vibrant collections by the best British poets around. Our translation list is growing to 25% of our output. Waterloo Press brings radical and marginalised voices to the fore, mirroring their aesthetics in outstanding book design, including dust jackets; large font; and original artwork. With its growing list, Waterloo Press promotes at last a permeable membrane between contemporary schools, quite apart from archiving a few sacred vessels for good. WP fosters a poetics based on innovation with respect for craft, bloody-mindedness and as founder Sonja Ctvrtecka put it: ‘An elegant unstuffiness – a seagull perched on a Porsche.’ Now the major poetry publisher of the south-east, we also believe strongly in a community of like-minded independent presses. We’ve become a land.

Find out more about Waterloo Press via its website, or ‘like’ the publisher on Facebook.

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