Sarah Crewe’s Aqua Rosa

 
 
 
 
Sarah Crewe is 30 years old and from the Port of Liverpool. She has work at ZimZalla as part of Jo Langton’s PoeTea project and in In The Company of Ghosts: The Poetics of the Motorway anthology by erbacce press. She also has work in the upcoming collection The Sheffield Anthology: Poems From The City Imagined from Smith/Doorstop. Her favourite fruit tea is pomegranate and she thinks that water chestnuts are the Devil’s counters. Aqua Rosa is published by erbacce-press.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
“Sarah Crewe is the creator of poetic vignettes, an imagery not of the surreal but of the proto-mundane, the elastic and the luminous. She is a poet of distinction in vocabulary, author of a lexicon that reaffirms the everyday in its intensity, utilising a finesse that pales the false poetic posturing of those travelling in the roadmarks of what was. This is a stone’s throw from Maggie O’Sullivan, from Geraldine Monk, this marks a beginning that can bring only hope to those discerning enough to recognise it.”

– SJ Fowler
 
 
 
“Sarah Crewe’s debut is inhabited by warrior princesses, ghost girls, anarchists, elves, Marxists, kittens, brides – telling stories that are part manifesto, part personal testimony. It invokes a world where people’s songs are deeply concentrated and eerily beautiful. In her poems, the Port of Liverpool is a mythical, contrary place, where kisses are blown across the water, but sirens wail. These poems, playful but precise, are full of musical grit and sparkle. This debut introduces a poet who deserves your full attention.”

– Amy Key
 
 
 
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Axe Actual
 
 
I am cryptocrystalline
I am warrior princess
Amber brown curvature
Artemis of rock world
I am hunter gatherer
For hunter read killer
For gatherer read forage
flint/flash beasts and berries
I bury. I am Queen of the Stone Age
Mammoth bone blood and bouffant hair
I lure creatures over clifftops
I cut, I chop I claw
I ensnare I am effigy
I am Venus Paleolithic
I am Calvin’s killer frisbee
Don’t dare call me primitive.
 
 
 
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Ana
 
 
Swish out maroon and black and swallow
red and kalamata, our food matched
uniform. Art factory shop girls
tapping nails dirty laugh on swipe.
You loved Lempicka and we swapped
life stories between Mapplethorpe keys.
Northern fado under Bourgeois web.
Your Rainer crucifix tides ran straight
into my own moonblood, symmetry
you could not clock on a wage slip.
Yet no sight of you or sound of you
or scratch off you or song from you for
years. You weaved the words sexy Liverpool
mamma into my new ID list.
Keep Portuguese kitten etched in yours.
Ana you stemmed and stretched but he stitched
you up. Voltar-se. You can’t fix flowers.
 
 
 
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the ballad of Rupert and Dorothy
 
 
you’re famously famous.
red top blue sky scoop snatch
graphics. cervine page three
paradummies divert
from drop zone. but the
screen is down. the munchkins
have been caught out playing
Fred Astaire on tele-
phone wires. your sideshow
bobette crashed the house
on Toto and stole the
wicked witch of Wapping’s
shoes. if the slippers fit
then make sure she can run
in them flight J96
Qantas Kelvin butler
monkeys onboard to serve
now fly my pretties fly
 
 
 
*
 
 
 
wide awake club
 
 
s t o p b r i e s t o p. no mercy in midnight blue.
barrel shaped subtext. 30’s slimkins pact.
Kurt Geiger newsnight lust.
function and comfort
fuck this I’ll take them
off anyway

deflation. Andrew time has not worked out.
British Gas 80s logo blue fire spheres
Coppola’s Dracula castle fort. if
your bones chill again i’ll invoke Prince
of Darkness. or Jack.

Scotch is needed
must move for whiskey
stuck by the fire
your blue blood is trauma
Dagenham creeps into
view. shift to Basildon
a grimace. mutual
wonder at Dave Gahan’s voice

red wine hands full
tannins curse me
stick to my lips
’til Monday morn
please understand
how much I want
those bloody shoes

i eat German stars
pink leopardskin fur
gilet Breck Road girl
root out in your dreams
what I can or can’t
believe
 
 
 
*
 
 
 
Simone
 
 
Simone says
Put your hands
On your head
Surrender-walk
Banshee bird dance
First right after
Next set of lights

Split the Red Sea
Wave to Babel
Bow your berry head
To the Greco grotesque

Simone says
Cover your ears
The boy who says fuck
Can’t possibly be yours

Be your own Boudica
Climb red-black chariot
Scratch itch for Euston
Wake in Bloomsbury haze
Hair pinched at platform
And wild eyes to boot

Simone says
Roll up your sleeves
In dishwater prose
In pugilist bleach

Wrap your tits
In net curtain
Keep close to chest
Hope brash best front forward
Can hide swinging brick

Simone says
Listen love
i’m not Simone
On reaching road
Her mind is changed
I can be Simone,
Rosa, Ulrika
Whatever you want

Simone says
Put your hands
On your hips
And hope for
A sea change.
 
 
 
*
 
 
 
My grandmother as Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ
the King Liverpool
 
 
Spiky bridesmaid. A crown of thorns through a workhouse site. They kissed your toes at La Plaza De Toros. Miss Porcupine, a hue of lilac and blue. Beautiful. I’m never home until i see you. I worship at your feet, I play at them also trying to filch luminous sweets from your chequered pink pockets. You are just 44 years old, post war, your beauty was rationed. I hear you everyday. Raised in Little Italy, but all that was roman was the crypt and your nose. Virgo runs screaming from an archbishop’s ghost in an early morning fog. I can still hear you sing in the key of H, to the world’s largest organ never built. Palimpsest of carols over Tridentine rites. A sun ray slices diocese flags, through sandstone shadow. Four dress designs, but three times a lady.
 
 
 
 
from Aqua Rosa (erbacce-press, 2012).
 
Order Aqua Rosa.
 
 
 
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