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Two Poems By: Martha Sprackland
Karl Smith , September 29th, 2013 11:00

New poetry this week comes courtesy of the multiple-award-winning and enviably prolific Martha Sprackland

Martha Sprackland grew up on Merseyside and lived in Madrid before taking an MA at Lancaster University. Twice a Foyle Young Poet of the Year, her work has appeared here & there -- Poetry Review, Magma, Iota, and the Salt Book of Younger Poets, amongst others -- and she co-founded Cake magazine with Andrew McMillan. Martha is Assistant Poetry Editor at Faber & Faber.


Dress in the loosening dark, the faint
beginnings of song chivvying you
from the heavy room, the hall
the there-now-that’s-done-it click
of the flat door and down the stairs.
Here’s the banister. Here is the outer door.
Stand here for just a second, no more,
and then post the keys back through
the letterbox, become that shifting
shape diminishing in the frosted glass,
down the empty frosted streets
and into town and without deviation,
get onto that train.

Lithograph (1955)
M. C. Escher

In the kitchen sink the gutted fish is open
to the moon. That murky asterism reflected
in the brushed steel? False. Those stars
are shattered scales; this eye

doppelganger of the deeper sky.
See this collection of postcards
from Rydal Water, North Narrameen,
the infinity pool at the Kandalama hotel,

the salt pans at Salar de Uyuni.
In the park, a puddle holding a network
of black trees induces vertigo,
the day bends like a tuning fork.

Mirrored sfumato in the window, the fish
begins to disappear. Can you, like this
disregarding mathematics, translate yourself
through solid glass into a silvery garden?

The sink is empty but for the thin line of blood
circling the drain. Left behind: these ersatz stars
coins of fish around the sink, around the mouth
as payment for the journey.