Parliament Hill Lido

The clockwork of my father’s body wakes him at 6am,
pulls him by the eyelids out of bed toward the swim,

even in December dawn-drunk lunatics gather on goose-pimpled tiles,
the moon still floating, a lonely body in the sky.

The slap of water rearranges his synapses and as his feet kick
the ripple, his veins turn a serrated blue.

When I tell people about my father and his weirdness
I don’t mention how he speaks less if not for swimming

or those mornings when he returns
hair still wet, the blood bright in his cheeks,

how we cross on the doorstep both trying
to stay in our lane, our bodies in sharper focus.

by Lewis Buxton

We’re excited to announce a new online course from Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre designed for anyone who wants to develop their poetry and publish it more widely. Fire Up Your Poetry Practice takes place this June and features outstanding, award-winning tutors like Isabelle Baafi, Kostya Tsolakis, Les Robinson, Susie Campbell, and Mary Jean Chan. Find out more about the course on our website. Please note that the full course option and the session on 15 June are now fully booked up, but you can still book for other individual sessions. See the website for more details.

‘Parliament Hill Lido’ is copyright © Lewis Buxton, 2021 and is reprinted here from Boy in Various Poses (Nine Arches Press, 2021) by permission of Nine Arches Press.

Notes from Nine Arches Press:

Boy in Various Poses, a debut collection of poems from Lewis Buxton, explores all the different types of boy you can be – tender, awful, thoughtful, vulnerable. Here, a maelstrom of mental health, male bodies, and sexuality is laid bare with wit and curiosity, and the complexity and multiplicity of gender itself is revealed.

The boy in question is often shapeshifting, slippery, unreliable, close yet never quite in focus, moving too fast to pause and take a breath – yet Buxton studies these boys, their bodies and behaviours, with a disarming intimacy and precision. These poems are provocative, nuanced and often laugh-out-loud funny, shining with a naked, shameless brilliance. Find out more about the collection on the Nine Arches website, where you can also pre-order a copy of the book.

Lewis Buxton was born in 1993 and is a poet, performer and arts producer. His poems have appeared in The RialtoMagmaAmbit and Oxford Poetry. In 2018 he received the UEA Literary Festival Bursary and was named one of The Poetry School and Nine Arches Press’ Primers Volume Four poets. He is Director of the poetry project TOAST and teaches writing in schools and libraries around the country. He currently lives in Norfolk. Boy in Various Poses is his first collection. You can find out more about Lewis’s work from his website and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Since its founding in 2008, Nine Arches Press has published poetry and short story collections (under the Hotwire imprint), as well as Under the Radar magazine. In 2010, two of our pamphlets were shortlisted for the Michael Marks Poetry Pamphlet prize and Mark Goodwin’s book Shod won the 2011 East Midlands Book Award. In 2017, All My Mad Mothers by Jacqueline Saphra was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize. Our titles have also been shortlisted for the Michael Murphy Prize, and in 2016 David Clarke’s debut poems, Arc, was longlisted for the Polari Prize. To date we have published over one hundred poetry publications. Read more about the press here and follow Nine Arches on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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.