Why I Changed My Mind About ‘Identity Politics’

Categories for Essay

‘Unremitting, Unremitting’

Here is a poem I wrote last year to mark the anniversary of Virginia Woolf’s suicide by drowning, inspired partly by her suicide note. Unremitting, Unremitting A headlong rush that breaks The water’s skin and mine. These shoes give little traction, Slipping down the muddy bank. They were not made…

See Me Win, See Me Lose

How much of it can you see From the sidelines, I wonder. Please pay close attention While I tear myself asunder.   Can you see me glowing When their knees give way And they fall back to earth Like marionettes of clay?   Do you hear the forced laughter Like dry leaves burning?…

Eyes Do The Thinking

I cried this morning.  Great big fat balloons Of sweet salt water. But they weren’t tears of happiness Or sadness. They were not knowing the one from  The other.    I cried today Which isn’t usual for me.  It filled up the gap  Between what I have  And what I expect …

Reading Authors Who’ve Recently Died

In his joint review/obituary of Denis Johnson in the NS, Chris Power makes the obvious point that ‘It is hard, when considering the final works by dead artists, to escape the death and get a clear view of the thing itself.’ Late works ‘become ensnared in the biographies of their creators’,…

Two New Poems

All Change, All Change The trains still arrive when they want, It’ll get colder yet before it thaws. We should do this, do that, There are contacts to contact, And efforts to be made, and rhythms And routines to be resisted. Before it’s – already – too late. And the same people…

Keep the Booker Prize Open!

This was first published at BookRiot. The Man Booker Prize has a history of stirring up the literary scene. Last month it made headlines again when 30 publishers urged trustees to reverse their decision to include American authors. The letter cites falling sales in the U.S. by writers from the UK…

‘Hunger’

In keeping with our snowy visitor from the East, here’s a jolly little story about cannibalism I wrote last year.  Hunger The first time the boy hears hooting, he ignores it. He thinks he’s imagining things again. But the second time, squinting into an ice-white sky, he sees a row of…

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