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FOUR Poems

AK Blakemore

Selections from from a pamphlet called 


Shia LaBeouf is the new poetry collection from the startling voice of AK Blakemore. Delivered with succinct precision and bright salient menace in her inimitable style—each poem suspends from the space around it with unapologetic leavings that will reside with you. Here, every detail crackles and comes at you sideways; a bad poem is dedicated to William Faulkner (and also your mother)—we are shown male models dancing to Roxy Music—a crosswise salver—a drinking spider—a sparrow’s wet dream and an altercation at a South London pub. Blakemore’s latest offering will take readers into a burnished and strange place. Shia LaBeouf cements her reputation as an electrifying voice in British poetry. ‘if you’re reading this, Shia, you’ve an advocate and friend in me...’

The pamphlet is available for pre-order from the publisher here.

Aurora, Mile End

and it’s Aurora
ornery in conversation
reflected in
a crosswise salver
between the lines
no little boy needs her
alive. lovely arms
like the struts belonging to an instrument
of martian origin—fields of opal-grain—

speculatively re-assembled yet
tragically unplayed.

sparrow’s wet dream

morning chores
as hot as a penance
all the products i love
wanna stamp on something expensive
for sex reasons

yellow mango in blue mesh bag
the colour of bird-eating spiders

lissom mind
in little naked restraints—
is spite factory.
there’s a crowd around the carousel
a cluster of secret misdeeds and taffy loops
of outraged light
fallows me

here i dream awake of
your treasured
senior meat

the evening’s sun licks a single tear

by the boating lake
the evening sun licks a single tear
from the face of a red-headed child.

can we get out more?
your personal beauty—though great—
has become

seems, now, touchingly inadequate—

something like, i forgive everything

as i said, all i wanted this morning was to climb back into bed
with you. the sunshine was bright and grasses
were coming, exquisitely.
i felt it necessary almost
to recover, let the day in.

there is a whole gala of care in me on seeing your wrist bent
in sleep’s amniotic reach

who is this girl standing at a window
wanting sprinklers to rain down lovely on hot skin,
with all the joie de vivre thereby

AK BLAKEMORE is the author of two full-length collections of poetry: Humbert Summer (Eyewear, 2015) and Fondue (Offord Road Books, 2018), which was awarded the 2019 Ledbury Forte Prize for Best Second Collection. She has also translated the work of Sichuanese poet Yu Yoyo (My Tenantless Body, Poetry Translation Centre, 2019). Her poetry and prose writing has been widely published and anthologised, appearing in The London Review of Books, Poetry, Poetry Review and The White Review, among others. She is currently working on her debut novel, which will be published in spring 2021 by Granta.


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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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