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Tome On The Range

Two Poems By: Mark Waldron
Karl Smith , October 27th, 2013 09:44

This week's bulging package of new writing is delivered in the form of two poems by London-based Mark Waldron

Mark Waldron was born in New York. His first collection, The Brand New Dark, was published by Salt in 2008, his second, The Itchy Sea, came out in September 2011.

His work appears in Identity Parade: New British and Irish Poets (Bloodaxe 2010) and Best British Poetry 2012 and 2013. He lives in London with his wife and son.

Look at our faces – oh how dead we’re going to be!

It’s the abundance of specificity that leaves me
so dying.

I go hotfoot through miserable woods that are haunted
by me, and here are the trees

each of whose leaves suggests its particular green.
I walk across a field

that’s been spattered with fragments of cow shit
every bit of which is specific.

I go to work. I go home. I go to work. Here are bones,
buttons. Here are wild dogs, biscuits,

French horns, imps, borlotti beans. Here is a submarine,
a brick, a rose hip.

Here are the piping bodies of girls and boys once popped
like perfect peas from puberty’s cramped pupa;

basted, they gleam head to toe with poem juice.
And here are all the world’s small stones arranged

in order of roughness with the smoothest on the right.

When you come in, Poppet

Your cold clothes.
Your cheek against mine, stiffened

with a thrilling, foreign chill you’ve picked up

Well I move back in ahead of you.
I arrange my papers like this

on the kitchen table and I sip my tea once
or twice.

Of course I must take you
back into the melting warm.

I must take you
all the way in again and shove

and shove out
what I can of the whole day,

that spruced-up bull that’s left its cleanly
trace in you, that smart day

with its fearless strut and its white clothes
like the white clothes of a saint.