Blackbox Manifold

Issue 13: Claire Crowther

Crash, I Said

There were hazards, as they say, there.

Hidden driveways. There’s always random. You don’t know

whether Schrödinger’s cat will be alive or dead when

you open the box. You only

observe. Is this a diversion, the wrong route? Try

to decide just how your interaction with the cat

kills it. You don’t kill it. Something

already dead was sauntering out of its drive

towards the road where I was happy theorising

oneness, unnecessariness

of closure. Perhaps I thought immortality.

Luckily the dead person didn’t believe in that

and gave way, giving me my head

past the camera. It was that kind of road: not built

up but long inhabited, not broad but wide enough,

so its hazards didn’t faze me.

I’ll reoffend and sometimes not against the law

but against my own judgement. It is when unzoned worlds

look out for me, pull out the dead

from under my wheels, or just cats, I kill nothing

or can kill nothing, over and over. Oh, I see

just reader: count, of my three justs,

how many positive, how many negative.

On balance – live, die – vision isn’t a simple thing.

My Friends’ Half Marathon

Girls and lay on its course. As Paige

and while people. (Whatever you.)

Had something door? Since we sometimes

it, right thing that when one shoulder.

What happens to take fear of feet

Greenwich? ‘Magma,’ muttered the Dub

‘when they shall be right hang on them.’

It hurt. Well as though Derry leaned

over Jake were running, dropping

his arms around his hawken. ‘Once

again and not be here?’ Iuthie

coming digitigrade. ‘Where you

need it,’ (aside her voice) bare thing –

dromomania Josiah.

‘By Judith bronte,’ Izzie smiled

‘the hot election of this speech.’

Separation Season

Cold bamboo

was hatching, cross-hatching; dead

stem arches

aisled the field. Tractors decayed

at the edge.

Drivers had thrown to rot what

will not rot.

Our plan had wintered. Though

branches milled

their twigs to silver, still ice

crawled away

from what it had taken on

and the sun

stopped chasing mist to wire

and rays woke

mistletoe to emerald

on the oak.

Our jewels had nested here.


opals begged don’t repeat us

dissolve us.

Move, I said, now you can move.

Fissured field,

frozen for months, you’ve rested.

Claire Crowther’s third collection, On Narrowness, is due from Shearsman in March 2015 and her pamphlet, Silents, from Hercules Press in April 2015.