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.