there is no moon tonight. this has its consequence. for
you. it is something akin to glimpsing the flight path of
monsters. sleeplessness is to grieve in small sections.
dust by chisel. minutiae explosions happen to the right
of your face. a communion of worry dolls accompany
your skull. wince upon orbit. you’re awake & twitching
over gravity. how wordlessly you splinter in the dark.
supposing you only have forty years left to lick parch-
pink rock? devour soil. circling its bounty desperate
brown. in the lost hours you float guilty. eating your own
goodbye. now invisible. now from a teaspoon. the
connection to survive is always hold me. let us last it out.
by Jess Murrain
from One Woman-Horse Show, Bad Betty Press, May 2022
Jess Murrain is a queer poet of British-Caribbean heritage working mainly in performance, live art and theatre. She won the Ledbury Poetry Competition 2021 and the Out-Spoken Prize for Poetry 2023. Her wider practice explores film-poetry and she is one of Southbank Centre’s New Poets Collective 21/22. She is also co-founder of ‘Theatre with Legs’, an experimental company based in Bradford and London. One Woman- Horse Show is her debut poetry pamphlet.
Bad Betty is an independent small press, committed to publishing the most exciting, innovative new poetry in the UK and abroad, showcasing stories less often told and voices less often heard. Bad Betty is the winner of the 2022 Michael Marks Publishers’ Award, and a regional finalist for the 2023 British Book Awards Small Press of the Year. Their books include five Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice selections, a Michael Marks Pamphlet Award winner, a Telegraph Poetry Book of the Month, and longlistees for the Laurel Prize and Polari First Book Prize. Bad Betty produces live poetry events across the UK, and is supported by Arts Council England.
‘The epitome of bold independence, Bad Betty publishes books of a rare breed.’ The Big Issue
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