Issue 3: Ian Patterson



Utter received

& savage verse

streaming in

once written

told as much

as ever breathed

I was in the sea

but will be too

much more than life

the greatest anxiety

quite in itself

in letters

nor desire no

phrases nearer

than it show any

balance in

your hands

writing neglect

the flames I have

no claims to be

prose not yet finished

as you meditate

sheets of a life

and afterwards

tell my remaining rags


Suspect of the senses

you wish to make up

felicity and a song

to lose the bond

silly blind and then

can’t glimpse fire

by an overturn

say nothing say put

from suspense

between the lines what

naturally wishes human

being so quietly

for some stage

so stays by that

time so no time

was lost in the age

abide by his pains

like the milky way

vicinity and access

green fruit in autumn


Slacking paces the way

scribbling caused

opening a drawer

look towards the sofa

better to forget

whoever's work that was

reflections come too

but never the outcome

gives me any pleasure

merely personal

write to them and assure

my books not my power

to promise at four o’clock

answer to remember

what to say nothing about

people in a garden

tell me they do here

they have and keep furnished


He is abated as

calamities with rose

a long time

know how order

let out of your hands

to any concerns

trust in it seems just

in July ears

my name will be

in disorder to raise

the father and severe

in a rainy morning

sticks waiting

for us immortal

inside and out

owing to the heat so

disagreeable as I choose

my serious advertisement

or some town on your coast

transmuted subject

but to tell you this

the worse it seems

believe me


I say what he means

but wish to refuse both

the issue of it

to the usual possession

and, to change the subject,

are you in England?

menacing this cold slab

of visit to any part or parts

insisted and detained

my improper valise

I have suspected certain

outward signs do not

suit me in such a state

torn and missing, degraded

or weak from ways of thought

for whom I have given up

my own scenes without my

saying any more

even in appearances

with a chair or table and

the blindness of beginning


Was it kept by your translation

till you can clear the house

to plague you with the burden

of the theatre of knots?

I will come to any place

one way or another:

in the eyes of the free world

he wished to have an end in view

do you want me to find

probable good cause?

I shall require politics to think

but first, a word while

letters came to correct me

in this country still more

public and astray to share

against the field of the knife

for they are not popular

released "to confess"

and creep by last post

variations on mask in the flesh

from a print of a word

all mixed over overturns

say it soon, warn me quietly

and I will go on like printing


No harm done to know you

waxed spelling like “laugh”

alone and act from any tight

rounds on the death of my fee

at burning matters and bones

of foggy morning with violets

two or three very gladly sent you

and many trials and conclusions

which perhaps you know better

as a certain solace in small writing

more quietly swept down

with part of mankind

with funds down under my days

about to begin with youth, beauty

and the paper diamonds reproached

like war, my friendship arrested

and deceived for the liberties in my land!

Does this deserve the name who not

only is torn and the rest

in such a moment I have lived

for you with the thought of this hardly

pleasant nor eloquent unalterable portal?


Your bureau and doors to perpetual

suspicion and the house clear and

so very like your writing a tragedy

in black and white and some

shuffles as I am now his dancing

beat. They love us. It wears nothing

not because he keeps the difference

sold from a letter, continuing earth

not to sell out with my terms, nor my

people of suspense. You never name her

or scrape to go on in a solitary forest

to prove all sides in a green bag

no matter flit out of it but recollect

we wait while seeing it was written

in impartial decree which can only restore

melancholy testimony to an unknown person


Mind to read between

what I have written to the Wind

in fragments of proper hours

in every sense what it wants

has been hit on the style

but no fine phrases for you to read

Ian Patterson's Time to Get Here: Selected Poems 1969-2002 was published by Salt in 2003. The long poem The Glass Bell was published this year by Barque Press. He is also the author of Guernica and Total War (Profile Books, 2007)

Copyright © 2009 by Ian Patterson, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.