Issue 27: Jane Goldman

There’s Lipstick on my Shark’s Tooth

(don’t i-i know it) 

how is a poet under fistic tutelage

or lapping the gardens at a briskish trot

or recumbent in a hammock

strung between apple trees (each

poet in their way refusing the apart-

ness of autonomous art from the praxis

of life) how find the sheer lyric will

to mark the launch of the biggest

windows ever flown into space will

you take a moment i-i said the biggest

windows ever flown into space who

ever says they like their lakes violet

and cubed or maybe rubbing would give you

more contrast yes sometimes mechanical

engineering terrifies me yet all this week

i-i have watched from my kitchen window

hard hatted hi-viz vested workies with

a giant crane manoeuvre a steel staircase

all four flights so delicately down into

the well of a nearby building how i-i love

the thrill of presence behind a wheel or

lifting the nose at the very last moment

coming into land no i-i didn’t know stopped

in my orbit by the thud’s suddenness how

the fallen young pigeon was different from me

wrapping my sweaty vest around gut bloodied

feathers tiny worming intestines i-i carried

pain in a bundle down the road to find help

from the veterinary nurse who was very kind

the word veterinary long ago extending its care

beyond beasts of burden yes she was very kind

to the wee bird insufficiently talented to avoid

the swoop of a sparrowhawk and too tired now

to fight death i-i meet Jules Bradbury she is deep

in a wild meadow making drawings up close

of yellow rattle in grass yellow rattle is a grassland

parasite yellow rattle weakens the monopoly of grass

fades to clear spaces in the monoculture of grass

for other wild flowers to seed—gaps where difference

will soon flourish—i-i really don’t care for the biggest

windows ever flown into space the universe is

so massive so obviously indifferent to preputial

glazing so please do take your frenular fenêtres

and go—it’s time to remind all of my friends

says CAConrad how much their art means to me

i-i will not allow them to become former artists

who stop making what they love

Dog-spent in Winter Hole

               (after Alice Tarbuck and Colin Herd)

when i-i try to notice

and talk about trees

thinking is not my friend

it’s all spasm and flash

with no additional text

standing under the winter

interest beside the pond

i-i might worry over

poor email discipline

or how my trainers

try to speak to me

in the idiom

of success get real

is what some people

still say if you look

to change the optic

as if struggle is not

already real it’s a hard

hard road to touch me

with your false

immediacy scrim

lit dreams of deep

damage let me

say resistance

makes new seeds

subjectless opacity

succinct ambiguity

disclosure sans

disclosers could it

be unpunctuated

intimacy is this

plentiful thing

a thing of plenty

a visceral common

struggle needs

these reproductive

structures affective

relations or how

do we get musty

smells out of stuffed

animals will freeze

all our sweet effluvia

knowledge is magical

magic is not ritual

it should not take

a plague to call

a rent strike debt

is the biggest bully

poetry is the best

case for a universal

living wage poetry

is environmental

care and the best form

of urban planning

poetry refuses

to be blackmailed

defending land

water and seeds

is not rocket

science how i-i

love it when you

slip one up

into the ether

Jane Goldman lives in Edinburgh and is Reader in English at the University of Glasgow. She likes anything a word can do. Her poems have appeared in Scree, Tender, Gutter, Blackbox Manifold, Adjacent Pineapple and other magazines, and in the pamphlet, Border Thoughts (Sufficient Place/Leamington Books, 2014). SEKXPHRASTIKS (Dostoevsky Wannabe, 2021) is her first full-length collection.

Copyright © 2022 by Jane Goldman, 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.