Issue 5: Vidyan Ravinthiran

A Boy Called It


What is it, you ask me? I do not know what it is: I know

there are times with you

when it feels

anything could be said or done: it is too much

when salt is poured on the slug

it turns to nothing: when I hear your even


more even and deep than anything

we could do or say

I turn to nothing: it occurs to me

as snowflakes hit the river

it is one way of disappearing


It is also a film

with a horrible clown in it

a group of children grow up

get back together: but the thing is

is the monster

is a guarantee

that when decades later we

find each other

aged as if by latex

it will be the same people


through a dark wood


A boy called it: everything in him

wanted to run

so he did: when he came

to the centre of power

designed to be filmed

from all angles

to look plausible

in HD

he palmed the glyph: looked at that blank

space: the reptile’s head

the skull crowned with flies

till it shone


From the footprints by the window

I extrude

the killer

as a late beam of sun

pushes a line of black

out of a pebble

as that line turns slowly


a clock

I will have it

all wrapped up

by sundown


There were little bows

all over her lingerie

you couldn’t untie


want it

she said

but it’s only



Wondering what it looked like: smelt like: felt like

you walked round the perimeter

made guesses in the shadows: this also

was pleasurable

at midnight

the wind ruffled the cordons

searchlights caressed the waste


with soft



started to sing

Vidyan Ravinthiran is a lecturer at Balliol College, Oxford. His pamphlet, ‘At Home or Nowhere’, was published in 2008 by Tall-Lighthouse; other poems were anthologised this year in Joining Music With Reason (Waywiser Press) and have appeared or are forthcoming in Magma, Poetry Review, The North, The Times Literary Supplement, The Oxonian Review, Ambit, Agenda, Stand, Horizon Review, Poetry Wales and Smiths Knoll.