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Eloise HENDY

Eloise HENDY’s debut—the blue room (Makina Books, 2020)—is a candid collection of poems that are sardonic, arresting and fiercely feminist. the blue room is dotted with sharp imagery—the heart rate of smashed glass, a dentist with stiff fingers, regurgitating confetti—and Hendy’s voice seems to relish the role of both salvager and confidante of memory. Retold glimpses punctuate the narrative, from the unpredictability of cyclical relationships to the rhythm of the things that we grasp. the blue room is available now for pre-order;—see here—and Hotel is delighted to host a triad of poems from the collection in advance of its 2020 publication.

hatching plans

it is the month of cruelty and no bluebells
have yet tempered the flood plains

but my temper has flared in two capital cities
and a variety of county towns

and pain is unbecoming yet so winningly resilient
i find myself copying its gestures

grief is banal and springtime is banal
and grieving in springtime is inconvenient

oh look a snowdrop oh look another failed relationship
i find myself unbecoming yet winning at very little

i want to be swallowed by seabirds
like a crisp packet and ditched in guts

miles out from the season of eggshells
and walking with yolk on my soles

oh look a murmur of starlings oh look
a murmur of let’s not startle the children

how obscene to care for rainfall
or petrichor drifting from pavements

i plant a garden in the corner of my bedroom
light candles for myself and my companion self-pity

how careless to only water the roadsides
i find myself setting off sprinklers at inopportune moments

i find myself having few opportune moments
i wade from the bedroom to the kitchen and back

i find the scent of cactus water similar to normal water
and the texture of sadness like jade, like rust

under the host

it runs in your family like a fugitive
an open sewer a kid nose i am always wiping

nipped sheens from your brow         you are always yanking
on a false lead eating nettles with raw hands

how many times have you woken up a stranger
surrounded by dead men         bottle caps chucked up

from your coat sleeves like a poisoning
like cheap confetti you are littered with canned heat

pass through my hips as smoke as moonshine
your grandmother lived out her days in tiny bones

you are always asking for rice and honey always wearing
hawthorn crowns        i find you in the garden

with purple hands         road soda rot-gut
i rub amethysts over your eyelids your mother

is a fire-eater your father is a brittle star         he loves
with arms like whips         i rub amethysts on your temple

you learnt to swallow like a snake jaw
yawning sinkhole a depression                    pick me up

with shaking hands white spirit there has never not been
thirst        i find you in the outhouse with burning lips

i find you in the bedroom with dripping hair
your hands fervent to again baptise your gasping skull

it’s always lighter at the horizon

it’s always lighter at the horizon

i want to say one true thing
like buffalo mozzarella        egg whites

it hurts to look at snowdrops
            or when i get dressed it will be in white silk

but i have always been too fond
of staining my bedsheets        leaving

soiled phantoms strung up
from doorframes         i furl night sweats

into the furrow of my lover’s brow
            or when i get dressed it will be in cut glass

and dream of vessels weighed down
by dust sheets         regurgitating confetti

and mothballs         lace
        something blue 
there is nothing more beautiful

than dissecting the bones
of my lover’s hands        studying the anatomy

of belonging         i dream of love
and exchange         in open waters

i get salt on my skirts
            or when i get dressed it will be as a swan

at daybreak i fall for false symbols
like astrology

it helps to have distance
                            or when i get dressed it will be in my own skin

Eloise HENDY is a poet and writer living in London. Her work has appeared in Ambit, The Tangerine and The Stinging Fly, amongst others, and she was recently shortlisted for The White Review Poet’s Prize 2018.

‘hatching plans’ first appeared in Ambit;
‘it’s always lighter at the horizon’ was first published in The Glasgow Review of Books;
‘under the host’ appears on Hotel for the first time.


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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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