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The Break of a Wave

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In my pocket

is the moment
I woke up
with you stroking my left bicep,

gentle alarm clock;

a well-practiced

image of intimacy

The half-overheard, half-delivered miniatures in the break of a wave are accompanied by images that refuse to collaborate, or elucidate, with the poems they back onto. Wry and humorous, punning with a flourish with bawdy homophones on ‘bare’/‘bear’, or these pieces nevertheless succeed in carrying a touching emotional freight, made all the more striking by the brevity of poems in which someone sits slumped on the kitchen floor


waiting for an epiphany,

avoiding the chair where they fucked.


These are poems that invite the reader into the spaces between them, that offer glimpses through windows beyond which the scene expands, like the wide sea or the unfolding corridor in the reverse’s images. Those scenes are often aftermath, as if we have appeared just a moment too late, having missed the argument, or the kiss, or the conversation, that has created these atmospheres. Sometimes we arrive right on time to catch the euphoria, in images of desire and love that feel recognisably over the top, the brass band of devotion:


And the sun is blowing out its cheeks, playing the first blast

of the trumpet in praise of the glorious regiment of you.


the break of a wave is both elusive and approachable, intimate and confiding whilst patting the pocket where it keeps its secrets, its memories, the joy and cavorting fun it takes in the presentation of ‘a show-off metaphor’.



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