Three new poems from Anna Kirk

Anna will be reading on Friday at the Mark Ford event. She’s currently on the MA at Royal Holloway. Here are three new poems from her


I walk the length of the London canals and think of how I had once been mad.
I would have walked to the edge of the bank ever so calm and into the water.
I would have slipped down, down until I was under, quiet, empty, light.
Now I am simply surprised that in the canal there is a motorbike.

I talk on this and the absence of the motorcyclist and all that I see and do not see.
I take a path along canals up to dry land, seeking a graveyard when the moon floats.
I walk and it is grape dark and I am so drunk on moonshine I see stars over London.
I wind through graves, my feet an inch over blood-lush grass, churned earth.

I learnt to read and write from headstones, but I prefer to use my voice.
I ask who Alfo Lieth could be. He is dust now and a character in a novel.
I am the content of a mania I can observe: I leapfrog all the headstones,
hurdle over night and into day.


He was lax with the razorblade,
now they eat eggs.
Ted chews his toast and stares so hard
he can see into his mouth.
Sylvia takes the butter knife and busies herself
with triangles.
Silence but for soft bites.
She looks at him and there’s a finger
in her eye.
He’s going for sleep’s leftover,
marmalade coloured.
Ted stares at the crust stuck to his nail tip
as if he had been panning for gold
and has found a nugget.
She feels the glow from it.

Symbols of a High Romance

We never should have walked across the heath to Keats’ house.
You never should have read his letter to his star while breathing next to me.
We never should have bought two winter postcards, I his watercoloured frail face,
you his sweetheart silhouette.

Now I watch you sleep I see a death mask.
I watch you hard enough I fancy life.

Read more from Anna here

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