Invisible pressing to chest: is it transitive?
Stuff happens and mountains move,
and I have no warrant
to glamp
with you, our tents apart,
showers cold on what’s alive.
Your band is playing and more kisses we do not give.

When I walk the Charlie Chaplin, I irritate Chris.
He turns into a monist
as we trudge Wellington
to jump
the queue and mud-sludge on
to the paddock where we twist
feet from slime, a failed pogo to And The Spaniels.

A sensory mode of awareness, veridical
noise, no hypothetical
hare or duck in the head
to clamp
your ticket to what’s read
(the latest thoughts of Pascal),
but that is what you do, and were hardly there at all.



On Not Writing Last Monday Afternoon

This was to be the sonnet about the heart-stop
bookshop image of the server thumbing me scald
but it turned stone on me when I notified me
by a jacketweb fumble that my glasses were gone.

It therefore follows that I went ontological, clocked
angels pointing at the right notch on the tocking clock,
hung out for a quick caffeine cash, blinked a bit
at atoms of four o’clock, stroked the ring on my ring finger,

which I would have cast off then – and I would – if it weren’t cut
into the table in that bookshop that it would be found
and presented next week over cloud cappuccino with an ENJOY
and that placing on wood that makes Augustine seem stale.



Scene, Korean War

Marilyn reads Plato to the boys
in a black minim dress between rests.
Here is the image. Hear the republic
boom to the crowd, see earrings swing,
clock soldiers gawp at the word turned flesh,
at the magazine come true. Immortal,
she won’t live forever; nor will they,
and arms can be blown off, and skulls can split
and a flesh wound is no blow. Head down,
she reads, Platonic for the troops.





[Philip Wilson was born in Leeds in 1959, taught for many years in comprehensive schools and has recently completed a PhD in Literary Translation (2012) from UEA, where he is an Associate Tutor in Literary Translation. He has published a selection of translations from Luther for Wartburg Press and is co-editing a collection of essays on literary translation for Palgrave Macmillan. He is the translator of the historical novel Fortuna’s Wheel by Rebecca Gable for Atlantic Books (forthcoming). Over one hundred poems have appeared in magazines, plus a pamphlet of poetry from Ninth Arrondissement Press. From September 2013 he will be Assistant Professor of Western Languages and Literature at İnönü University, Malatya, Turkey. Interests include Wittgenstein, the French Enlightenment, the music of Rammstein and graphic novels. ]

Copyright © 2013 by Philip Wilson, 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.