Tag Archives: Declan Ryan

clinic II

  
 
 
clinic is a poetry, arts and music platform based in New Cross, South East London. They hold multi-disciplinary events which aim to bring together poets, artists and musicians – both emerging and established in their respective fields – in an ongoing artistic collaboration.
 
 
Following a sell-out run of their first anthology, clinic return with the second installment in the series: a more ambitious endeavor collating the work of the most exciting young poets, illustrators and photographers. The book stands as a manifestation of the workshops, readings and exhibitions that clinic have orchestrated over the UK in the past year.
 
 
  
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Poets in clinic II
 
Rachael Allen, James Brookes, Sam Buchan-Watts, Niall Campbell, John Challis, Kayo Chingonyi, Tim Cockburn, Sophie Collins, Dai George, Matthew Gregory, Nathan Hamilton, Emily Hasler, Oli Hazzard, Kirsten Irving, Luke Kennard, Amy Key, Caleb Klaces, Alex MacDonald, Edward Mackay, Toby Martinez de las Rivas, Harriet Moore, Kim Moore, Andrew Parkes, Abigail Parry, Declan Ryan, Jon Stone, Ross Sutherland, Olly Todd, Jack Underwood
 
 
 
Illustrators
 
Hanna Andersson, Kohei Ashino, Sophia Augusta, Alexey Berezkin, Harriet Bridgewater, Michael Dotson, Mike Goldby, Jack Hudson, Rob Hope-Johnstone, Paul Layzell, Bob London, Aaron McLaughlin, Olja Oblvco, Sean Roy Parker, Aimee Parrott, Thom Rees, Jack Teagle, White White Brown Twig
 
 
The publication includes, at its centre, the photo essay, ‘Modern Times’, by Patrick Tsai, documenting the tumultuous cultural concern of China in the Twenty-First Century.
 
   
 

© Aimee Parrott

  
 
Stems.
Olly Todd
 
 
Through the dark hallway of antlers,
dozens nailed high to the splitting oak,
she walks before strolling
out to the summer garden
with the nap of the lawn and, blowing
into jars says, ‘candles, why candles?’
 
Although the flowers don’t need it
she cuts shorter their stems and rearranges
them in their green glass vase.
 
Lilac and white blouses and pants
pulled earlier along the line.
 
He brings the whisky bottle wrapped
in the white serviette. They have never
jumped into a river holding hands.
Never have they jumped in a river and
only for peace does he agree the nightingale
at the fountain is romantic
 
 
 
*
 
 
 
The Drowned Fields
Kim Moore
 
 
Although being without him now
would be like standing on one leg
still everything seems paper thin.
 
If my foot slips and breaks the surface,
I’ll fall to a land of drowned fields,
where the only language is the language
 
of the sky and the birds make endless
patterns in the air and the pools of water
are words the rain has left behind.
 
The birds are like shadows in the corner
of my eye, or silver, as if the sky
is throwing money to the ground.
 
Next to the path the grass moves beneath
my feet. Hummocks store black water
while his thoughts, impossible to ignore
 
push their way across the land like large
enthusiastic dogs. The lives I could
have led are silver threads across
 
the drowning land and birds come
together , then spread apart, as if the sky
opened its hand and let them loose.
 
 
 
*
 
 
 
Deco
Tim Cockburn
 
 
I love you because you are like love
a flimsy and preposterous thing,
like a deco bedside cabinet
whose gold trim is coming away,
whose quilted sides are yellow and punctured,
but that you buy anyhow,
if only because, among the serious junk,
its cheerful stab at flair seems
a certain defiance, a retort.
 
 
 
*
 
 
 
Talking Panther
Sophie Collins
 
 
paces the room, his raised tail beating
in time with the grandfather clock.
His long claws click against
the polished wood floor. He wears a crisp blue suit
 
to compliment the iridescence in his fur.
His cravat was a gift,
from a benevolent tsar. His cufflinks are fangs
won in a duel with an Indian rattlesnake.
 
He tells me the panther is a solitary animal.
He tells me they are under threat
but they are skilled climbers.
He tells me of his scaling the Norwegian coastline;
 
he is the only quadruped to have conquered
the Seven Summits.
As he chews and licks at his words
I notice his gums are black. He never blinks.
 
He is about to recount an early memory
from his birthplace of Burma
when his perfect head bursts
into the greenest of flames.
 
 
 
*
 
 
  
Order clinic II here.
 
clinic II was made possible, in part, by a donation from Ideas Tap, and is co-published by Egg Box Publishing.
 
Visit clinic’s website.
 
 
 

© Tom Rees

Days of Roses Anthology

  
 
About the anthology
 
Editors Declan Ryan and Malene Engelund have chosen to focus on poets who have read at the series and who are at an early stage of their career. Many of the contributors have released acclaimed pamphlets, but most are not quite at a full first collection stage. As such, the anthology is intended not only as a memento of the highlights of the first two years of the event, but a showcase and calling card for some of the most gifted up-and-coming poets in the country.

 
 
About Days of Roses
 
Days of Roses began life as a monthly literary event, starting in January 2009 at Filthy McNasty’s in Angel and going on to hold nights as part of the Oxfam Bookfest at its flagship Marylebone store as well as readings at 3 Blind Mice, The Camden Head, The Book Club and The Rugby Tavern. Initially an off-shoot of the Royal Holloway Creative Writing MA, a writing programme run by writers including former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion and Head of the Poetry Society, Jo Shapcott, the evenings quickly evolved into a place for guest writers to showcase their work alongside new voices from the Royal Holloway MA, past and present.
  
  
 
Launch
 
Date: 23 February 2011
 
Time: 18h30 to 23h00
 
Location: 3 Blind Mice, 5 Ravey Street, EC2A 4QW, London
 
The launch of the first Days of Roses anthology will feature readings from the contributors: Jo Shapcott, Christopher Horton, Declan Ryan, Dominic McLoughlin, Gareth Jones, Liz Berry, Lydia Macpherson, Malene Engelund, Marianne Burton, Maximillian Hildebrand, Robert Selby, William Searle and music from Fiona Bevan and Mr Dupret Factory and friends.
 
Copies will be available on the night with 15 different signed and numbered covers created by Ross McNicol and Amelia Newton Whitelaw. The anthology will be available on Amazon after the launch.
 
 
 
Till dawn
Lydia Macpherson
 
They say it’s harder for those left behind,
so why do you keep trying to get back?
These days I’m sleeping with the lights on,
expert in the phases of the moon,
the early morning train times, the taxonomy
of moths. Even with my eyes screwed shut,
I note the clock’s red flick as if you’d passed
a hand across my face. The milky drinks
in the small hours of the kitchen,
lit by the fridge’s cinema glow, the burbling
background of the World Service,
its RP reassurance giving way to patriotic
music, weather continents distant,
the far flung potential of the shipping forecast –
nothing drives you off. How many years was it
before the ground had settled back to make
a headstone worth its while? That rose
your mother threw must have joined
you long ago in a slow dance of rot and growth.
It seems just yesterday that staying up till dawn
was all we wanted. Be careful what you wish for.
The chink of milk bottles, the baby’s cries,
a two-tone siren streets away, all mark
the daily absences of life.
 
 
Previously published in Magma.
 
 
 
Baking with Kathryn
Declan Ryan
 
Two halved eggs are brittle castanets, their parted shells
at no risk in your hands despite their bloom, calcium crystals
thick, a liquid line slides, one to the next.
 
Dark chocolate snaps into splinters beneath your thumb,
between pinning your hair with a grip and miming drums,
two clean whisks your soft jazz brushes.
 
When the machinery stops we hear the start of Beeswing,
of work next to a laundry girl, animal in her eyes, a rare thing
then as now to find such fineness stilled.
 
While we wait you play Debussy’s Sarabande, with élégance
grave et lent
, and I watch your fingers in a practiced dance,
forgetting what we have left to the heat.
 
 
Previously published on Eyewear.
 
 
 
Trucker’s Mate
Liz Berry
 
The A1 is the loneliest. Four hundred
and nine miles down the spine of the country,
only the firefly of a fag tip to keep you steady.
A man needs some company,
an eye on the map, a hand on the radio.
Ten four, hammer down, breaker breaker.
 
He made a man of me, rubbed me
smooth with engine grease, taught me how
to pull a flatbed, take an unsigned route,
draw the curtains against the prying eyes
of headlights. As other lorries trundle home,
we push onwards, the road a romance.
 
I was a kid that first night. Birmingham
to Folkestone. The junctions looping
and racing above us, his hand on my leg.
In the woods beside the layby, I pressed my tongue
into the sap of a pine tree as I pissed,
already half in love with him.
 
Now belly to back in the cab, his vertebrae
like cat’s eyes guiding me down,
I think of the M6 Toll, lined with two million
pulped Mills and Boons; how love is buried
in unlooked for places, kept secret like us.
In the darkness his breath hums like an engine.
 
 
Previously published in Magma.
 
 
 
The Singer and The Catch
Marianne Burton
 
It was not straight doing.
A witch told him how to hold me, to throw
his shirt over my back when I surfaced,
pulling up on the boat’s side to hear him sing.
He was a small man, not much to look at,
with a black tooth and a short beard,
brown and white, the plumage of granite.
He caught me fair in my woman’s shape
and I lay in the shell of the boat winded,
caught on the turn, my legs still legs.
 
The next night he came in from fishing,
I was sat in the kitchen, bemused by the pots,
the fire too hot, the cutlery too reminiscent
of fish hooks to keep me comfortable.
Where’s my supper then? he said, woman,
as if to emphasise I was woman now for him,
fleshed and flayed. He hit my face, lightly,
a caress, a joke, but the intent was serious,
and the men in the doorway jeered,
and a woman laughed. One I said.
 
Two months later the village had a wedding.
Not ours. Still, he was singing in the evenings
and each time his voice sounded the spell held;
I couldn’t move from the room it was so sweet.
The men stared at the dust on my black coat,
the woman raised her eyebrows at my clogs.
I’d never tasted wine and after a time
I spun and laughed, then wept at the sorrow
the bride would know. He slapped me hard,
weeping at a marriage. Two I said.
 
Shortly after, but a long time it seemed,
one of the men was trapped in the nets,
turned up bloated and still on the beach.
Not my man though. At the funeral
they poured an oily orange water which bit;
and after a glass I threw back my head
and laughed at all the pain he was spared,
the dead man. A great blow he dealt me
this time to the side of my head. The eyes
of the woman danced as she watched. Three I said.
 
I was out of his home then in my black coat
and away that night.
 
But his singing would carry down to the beach
and I’d crawl through the graves to peer in
where he sat in the firelight with his one candle;
fire and cat hissing at my face at the window.
The woman lay across his lap and laughed,
and he – he turned and pointed at her,
separated her long fingers, not webbed
at all, drew her skirt up above her knees
and pointed to her feet, real feet with toes,
and he opened his mouth and sang.
 
I did not want his coarse beard, his bruises,
his black greasy kitchen, or the sweat of his bed,
but I wanted the music and that they knew,
as their faces hardened into spite, and I slid
from the sill, across the pebble shale, back
into the sea where the music doesn’t hurt.
 
 
Previously published in Chapman.
 
 
from the first Days of Roses anthology.
 
 
Join the Days of Roses Facebook group.