Ian Duhig’s ‘goths’

Ian Duhig has written five books of poetry. The last two of these, The Lammas Hireling and The Speed of Dark (both from Picador) were PBS Choices. His last published short story appeared in Comma’s The New Uncanny, which won the Shirley Jackson Best Anthology Award for 2008, while his most recent musical collaboration, a contrafacta with the Clerks called ‘After the Mass’, appears on their CD Don’t Talk – Just Listen, from Signum Classics, 2009. His next book of poetry is forthcoming from Picador, with the working title of Jericho Shanty.
Ian Duhig

I love them. They bring a little antilife and uncolour
to the Corn Exchange on city centre shopping days
as if they had all just crawled out of that Ringu well,
so many Sadakos in monochrome horrow, dripping
silver jewellery down flea-market undead fashions.
They are the black that is always the new black,
their perfume lingers, freshly-turned-grave sweet.
Black sheep, they pilgrimage twice a year to Whitby,
through our landscape of dissolved monastery and pit,
which they will toast in cider’n’blackcurrant, vegan blood.
They danse macabre at gigs like the Dracula Spectacula.
Next day, lovebitten and wincing in the light, they take
photographs of each other, hoping they won’t develop.
Previously published in Stand.
Read more about Ian at Contemporary Writers, the Poetry Archive and PIW.

5 thoughts on “Ian Duhig’s ‘goths’

  1. jocelyn page

    loved hearing it read and love it as much in writing. and really like the working title of the new collection. hope you’re well, ian, and thanks to michelle for spotlighting everyone’s work. xx

  2. christine

    What rich language! I have a student in my English Comp class who would love this. He wears a belt studded with bullet shells, paints his fingernails black, and has a pierced septum. This poem really brings out the tribal nature of youth. Thanks for sharing, Michelle!

  3. Lucy

    The last bit about hoping the photographs won’t develop really made me smile!

    Good to get reacquainted, Michelle, and to wonder at all the things you include here. I very much liked your two poems at Horizon Review, too.

  4. Julie

    What an excellent portrait. Awesome last line. “Freshly-turned-grave sweet” is the best perfume description I’ve ever read. I love it.

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