It’s so easy for me to imagine it I don’t even have to try. It’s why
I lost interest in the postcard maker. I hardly needed him anymore,
with his surfboard. I think he understood. That view
is stamped on my brain already, clear as day, except the grass
in the foreground is so dark it could almost be dusk overturned.
He told me the landslides are increasingly frequent, one for every
nice drop of rain. And so the cliff slips and the houses get closer
to the edge of it and the cliff gets weaker and so it goes on, and so
I take my love and I take it down. I think my mind’s eye is in my gut.
The lifeboat house is so low now it looks like a bunker, some kind
of air-raid shelter, to be on the safe side twice over. Little does it
know. The sunset takes longer these days, of course, with
further to go and less to hide behind. I’d give a whole limb to be
there again. I’d know the right-handed cliff anywhere, with its slow
morning stretch, its curve, its crumble. Then there’s the section
where clay turns to chalk and the peregrines were nesting last time.
Elsewhere, we’d lost a good chunk of car park, and the seagulls didn’t
know where to land. Have you ever seen tarmac carried out to sea?
Like a jagged black ode to Noah’s Island? It was not good
news at all. May it never appear in a photo.
by Lily Blacksell
Hear Lily read the poem by clicking below
The Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre is proud and delighted to introduce you to the first of the three poets whose work ignitionpress will be publishing in our first poetry pamphlets! Lily Blacksell’s pamphlet, There’s No Such Thing, together with A Hurry of English by Mary Jean Chan and Glean by Patrick James Errington, will be on sale on 14 February from the Brookes online shop, and there will be launch events on 7 March (at the Poetry Café in London), 8 March (at the Society Café in Oxford), and on 25 March (at the Oxford Literary Festival). You can find out more about these events on our website. We will be showcasing work by Mary Jean and Patrick in the next two instalments of the Weekly Poem.
Lily Blacksell is a British writer recently returned from New York, where she was working towards a poetry MFA on Columbia University’s Writing Program and also held a Teaching Fellowship. Lily writes poems for the page and the stage. Her work has appeared in Rockland Lit, Lifejacket, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Poet’s Country, Foothill and Magma Poetry. She has written reviews and interviews for Boston Review, Sabotage and Prac Crit and was herself interviewed by Columbia School of the Arts and Impakter.
Lily has performed her work at numerous venues, such as Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop, Bowery Poetry Club, and Dead Rabbits (US), and Cheltenham Poetry Festival, Battersea Arts Centre (as part of Battersea Literature Festival), Howl, Word Up, and Boomerang (UK). In 2013, Apples and Snakes commissioned a piece of original spoken word theatre from Lily, which was performed at Lit Fuse, and in 2015 she was a finalist in the Roundhouse Poetry Slam. In 2017 Lily was nominated for The Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets (United States and Canada).
ignitionpress is a new poetry pamphlet press with an international outlook which publishes original, arresting poetry from emerging poets, and established poets working on interim or special projects. The Managing Editor of the press is Les Robinson, who was the founder and director of the renowned poetry publisher tall-lighthouse until 2011. You can learn more about the press on the Poetry Centre website.
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.