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Reading into
            (Gertrude STEIN)  




or a nice cold glass of milk or a gift of a kitten or a waiting or a space to do something or other courteous courtesies. a milk might be an occasion if it’s what you’ve been waiting for. it might be a calcium or a time to sit down. it might be a bonding. a white drawer for whites like panties or hankies or things you might fold in a piece of tissue. anybody can do this or smell something that’s not quite right like a mark or a scuff or an anomaly which will show up on a white short or a page or a canvas. it is to know no thing. it is such a thing. it is something special or a beginning. if milk is an occasion space is an afterthought and a little passage. or perhaps a memory of dust like us. and this is me not meaning to but it always does. what makes a trigger word? a special memory and a readiness to connect. silver is not white but can be paper. a foil is not and glasses do not make an eyesight but they help. a strange identity. a twin. a little. a phallacy. a joke. these are a likeness. a word a burning a cushion a pin. some things. dirty is an end. entropy is a

new beginning. a straining and a finality is an entropy and a waste and an embarrassment and something left behind. some old food. a personal. these is a stool.



in the middle of the night or in the middle of the place or in the middle of the sarcophagus or in the middle of the dog or in the middle of the session or in the middle of the book or in the middle of the cross-examination there is a thing suspended that is a tiny thing and so

peaceable the wind blows tiny thing peaceable the middle of the dog. here he comes again bounding in, it’s Spot! I lost. is he in the chest is he in the box is he under the bed?

who is crying over there who is nearly crying who is not crying over there who is listening to the crying who is making the person cry who is

saying a nice thing to Gertrude Stein these days? a tiny thing to say. just off the centre around the peaceable small thing there is a

flick of the joint. an exposed section. a place to hold. a little feminine action. a wrist.

I like you Gertrude Stein [action]

here in the snow in the becoming in the wilderness something is leading to something else. a time. a moment suspended in the middle that is very violent in a good way. the feeling of being at altitude [feminine action] the feeling of knowing what is coming [somebody crying] the feeling of holding the middle [wrist]

eight is too much and a space between. here is masculine holding not wrist but something to leave. a violent peace that is leading. in the day or the biscuit or the chess or the pringle or the foot or the philosophy or the watch or the ankle there is a leaving all around. man is leaving.




mabel is a season unto herself. mabel is a cup of tea. you see? you sea! o, you sea! so spinning like a big ferriswheel in a small fare. how might mabel be? mabel might be a label later mabel might be a girl. mabel might be special or biscuit or choral rendition. mabel is a yellow fable.

here is the yellow dot again hiding behind the settee. here is brisket here is a well in a garden for bringing in water. here is a marigold here is a chesterfield here is a man in a suit with wartime secrets here is a phase here is a little girl who was sold lies instead of fairy tales.

what is extra yellow? a bright mug or a drawing of a sun. emily. flowers painted by van gogh. maybe mabel’s mantle. no natural hair. a location. a dream about HIV. a surprise in the darkest of places.

extra yellow strings. a bit of overprocessed cheese. intermittent games. a brain that is not going there makes a resistance. a bitter drink. a memory makes

prose difficult. line breaks and yellow lunch breaks and fresh pasta and a lady

lying around on a sunny day. a bikini. mabel playing on the beach. mabel is perhaps. a steal resolve. does stainless steel? a google quickly. a sneaky touch. a memory

forces line breaks. the place is a page a past a hope a pebble a planet a me a map a concentric moment a nice cup of tea a building a thing to escape a star.

Anna CATHENKA lives in Norwich where she has been studying as one of the MA Poetry 17/18 cohort at UEA. Her first pamphlet Dead Man Walking is forthcoming from New Fire Tree press. Links to Anna’s published work can be found here. These poems were written as part of a collaborative project with Alice Willitts which was shortlisted for Ivan Juritz prize in 2018 (see here).


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