Issue 19: Claire Crowther


Don’t Go, I’ve Multiplied

How would you know whom I hold?

But stay, I’ve been assigned

sub-demiurges –

like a glut of


gesticulating, corpses

steeled to relaxation,  

ghosts beyond need (though

they’re not top gods

surely) – who

turned up and pushed my truck off

the road. Now I’m like new,

mechanic girded

with spare parts. Who’ll


Who’ll split? Who’ll uncan your cold

humanness? Disorgan-

ise selfness and shared

immortals care

more for you.

Soliloquy, Dead Dog Revenant

I crawl – I’m used to this – through Furtive Wood.

Its roots

pick and dig urged on by caws and whirrs. ‘Why

did I

work those hours?’ my man says. He meets me now

each day

where boys circled, chanting: ‘On your belly.’

There was no

space between blows. Their bikes beamed ten lenses.

They hit

my back with rectangular wooden legs.

Paths crumble

under bramble. Blood smell. Ssslick, ssthlik,


lick the bark. Crows crack open the ferns. Doves


the trees to let me through. Sometimes badgers


Wicked Weather

In Cardio, for Lung Function,

under a pole suspending drugs,

a prison guard sits down, chained

to a bird in front.

The prisoner, wearing one of those

thin gowns that gape, stares at the wall’s

promulgation: Due to snow,

we’re spreading grit today.

The guard puts out her hand. She can’t

reach magazines to read. She rests

and their bracelets shine.

Claire Crowther’s latest collection is On Narrowness (Shearsman 2015). Her pamphlet Bare George, resulting from a residency at the Royal Mint, was published by Shearsman in 2016. More of her poems can be heard at the Poetry Archive.