A.B. Jackson’s Apocrypha

 
 
 
A.B. Jackson was born in Glasgow in 1965. His first collection of poems, Fire Stations, was awarded the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2003. His poetry is featured in Identity Parade: New British and Irish Poets (Bloodaxe Books, 2010) and his poem ‘Treasure Island’ was awarded First Prize in the Edwin Morgan Poetry Prize 2010. Andy works as a Senior Information Manager with NHS Education for Scotland.
 
 
 

 
 
Apocrypha is series of twenty-one poems which will form part of A.B. Jackson’s long-awaited second collection. This signed and numbered Donut Press special edition is limited to 250 copies.
 
 
 
I
 
Ruth at sunrise, grooming horses.
The bit, bridle, curry-comb of love
was her business.
 
Simeon skulked around indoors,
consulted Qabalah, threw sticks,
anything to improve sex.
 
Clouds were locomotive smoke,
camels or torn pillows,
the imperfect
 
science of moodswing or a god
in evidence everywhere, the veil
obscuring male from female.
 
Ruth gathered apples. The Elohim
stamped in their stalls.
 
 
 
III
 
Bed-head Lazarus, at breakfast:
three Embassy Regal, tea so strong
you could trot a mouse on it.
 
To his bare barrel chest, a rag
embroidered with Do Not Disturb
was butterfly-stitched.
 
Nettle cheese omelette, French
toast with field mushrooms,
three more furious cigarettes.
 
Manifest ailments: eye-gum,
heart overrun with Japanese knotweed,
cock not worth a docken.
 
Mist burned off. Honey bees fussed
religiously, as usual, over roses.
 
 
 
XX
 
Balding, young Noah
constructed a classic comb-over.
High wind signalled ruin,
 
impending rain. He amassed
articles on follicle health, applied
pigeon dung paste,
 
pomades of hippopotamus fat,
black Andalusian foal urine.
The more elusive ingredients
 
took jungle-time and steel traps,
an array of live bait, his life
regime and rumour.
 
Markets rose. Bullet-head Noah
floated his beauty empire.
 
 
 
from Apocrypha (Donut Press, 2011).
 
Order Apocrypha.
 
Visit Andy’s website.

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