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THREE poems
        David BRIGGS


words were stones

            they skimmed through the surf—

                        talking it out

                        diminishing circles

and then

            a figure on a beach

            watching a sunset


                        not so much a sunset




an illusion sustained

by the world’s




not those rising in a cold glass of Champagne

nor those in the yellowing scurf by the sewerage outlet

        but these           now

        blown from a plastic dipstick

                    in a child’s hand

                                    on a spring breeze

                                                    into blue sky –

        their fragile occupation of time

        their fixed but futile desire

        to hold their form

        to maintain themselves awhile against

        the unbearable pressure of space


The doctor in The Madness of King George cures the king’s porphyria-induced senility with a strong dose of irreverence—he looks at the king; the king is told he’s ‘merely the patient’; the king is restrained for misdemeanours and obscenities. And it’s made clear that this Quakerish insolence is essential to the king’s recovery.
   In this way it is essentially the same film as The King’s Speech, in which another oikish quack with a strong regional accent cures the king’s inability to sound kingly by means of wilful disrespect.

   And the appeal of these films must surely lie in the attractive idea that the renegade outsider with little respect for social distinctions is, in himself, the essential cure for the sickness at the heart of the establishment.

   That, I guess, or the one other, lesser-spotted commonality – the under-sung prowess in the editing suite of BAFTA-award winning Tariq Anwar.

David BRIGGS has published two full collections with Salt Publishing, The Method Men (2010) and Rain Rider (2013). Recent work also appears in this year’s festschrift for W.S. Graham, The Caught Habits of Language (Donut Press, 2018), and a pamphlet, Vision Helmet (2016), is currently available from Maquette Press.


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Partner to a press called Tenement, Hotel is a publications series for new approaches to fiction, non fiction & poetry & features work from established & emerging talent. Hotel provides the space for experimental reflection on literature’s status as art & cultural mediator. 

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