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Late Fragment

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

- Raymond Carver

Summer farm

Straws like tame lightnings lie about the grass
And hang zigzags on hedges. Green as glass
The water in the horse-trough shines.
Nine ducks go wobbling by in two straight lines.

A hen stares at nothing with one eye,
Then picks it up. Out of an empty sky
A swallow falls and, flickering through
The barn, dives up again into the dizzy blue.

I lie, not thinking, in the cool, soft grass,
Afraid of where a thought might take me - as
This grasshopper with plated face
Unfolds his legs and finds himself in space.

Self under self, a pile of selves I stand
Threaded on time, and with metaphysic hand
Lift the farm like a lid and see
Farm within farm, and in the centre, me.



My life as a bat
is for hearing
the world.

If I pitch it right
I can hear
just where you are.

If I pitch it right
I can hear inside your body:
the state of your health,

and more, I can hear
into your mind.
Bat death is not listening.

My life as a frog
is for touching
other things.

I'm very moist
so I don't get stuck
in the water.

I'm very moist
so I can cling
onto your back

for three days
and nights.
Frog death is separation.

My life as an iguana
is for tasting

My tongue is very fast
because the flavour
of the air is so subtle.

It's long enough
to surprise
the smallest piece of you

from extremely
far away.
Iguana death is a closed mouth.

- Jo Shapcott

Tonight of Yesterday

The evening slips you into it, has kept a place for you
and those wildwood limbs that have already settled on
the morning. The words you have for it are flyblown now
as the dandelion you'll whistle tomorrow into a lighter air.
But tonight, your sleep will be as round as your mouth,
berried with the story of sunlight finally run to ground.
You are all about tomorrow. The moon has your name
memorised: the curl of your back, your face, an open book.

- Vona Groarke


She is scooped out and bow-like,
As if her string
Has been drawn tight.

But really, she is
Plucking stones from the dirt
For her shoulder-bag.

It is her dead albatross,
Her cross, her choice,
In it lie her weapons.

Each granite sphere
Or sea-worn flint
Has weight against your sin,

You cannot win.
She calls you close,
But not to let you in, only

For a better aim.

- Frieda Hughes


A state you dare not enter
with hopes of staying,
quicksand in the marshes, and all

the roads leading to a castle
that doesn't exist.
But there it is, as promised,

with its perfect bridge above
the crocodiles,
and its doors forever open.

- Stephen Dunn


The fire in leaf and grass
so green it seems
each summer the last summer.

The wind blowing, the leaves
shivering in the sun,
each day the last day.

A red salamander
so cold and so
easy to catch, dreamily

moves his delicate feet
and long tail. I hold
my hand open for him to go.

Each minute the last minute.

- Denise Levertov

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

- Mary Oliver

It's Bizarre

Joel, whenever the topic comes up, declares that Bizarre magazine was once good but has denegrated into a poor excuse for porn.

While I can see how this is true, there are many parts of the magazine that I still enjoy - not least the UltraVixens! People sending in their own ideas of what is attractive is always more interesting than a magazine's necessarily rather watered-down and bland concept- necessarily, because they have to aim for the middle of what they believe their readership wants in order to maintain their sales. With the UltraVixens you get to see the taste of a specific individual, which to me is always more engaging.

Which leads me neatly on to the artwork featured in Bizarre, which I'm usually grateful to have seen & read about. This issue they featured Godmachine a.k.a. Bob Self, the chap who does the gloriously complex & twisted artwork for the brand Iron Fist. While I make a point of NEVER wearing clothing with an obviously visible label (if I did, I reckon the label should pay ME for advertising space), I like what Godmachine does & have considered buying some Iron Fist shoes which are especially beautiful - all pop art & grotesque roses. Very Great Gatsby.

The readers' artwork is often amazing too. It's lead me to look up several people to explore their work further. I consider things like that to have enriched my life, so why the hell not?

And, of course, there's the irresistible (to me, anyway) world of tattoos and body mod. I still want some tatts & will get one when I finally grow a pair. Seeing work that I like is inspiring, & seeing work that I definitely don't want is also helpful.

I suppose the lesson to be learned here is that I can like what I want to like... which I knew anyway.


Well, it finally happened. I lost it & shouted at some people on the bus. And a big black bloke told me "lady, you CRAZY!" I've always wanted that to happen to me! Another feather in my crazy cap.