Tuesday 31 March 2015

Claire Crowther's On Narrowness (Shearsman, 2015)

Some favourite passages:

Mosquitoes charged me with their sour sugar
outside the vinegar house. Six years, ten years,
sixty, it ferments from oak to juniper
to chestnut to cherry and back to oak wood barrels,
balsamic vinegar separating itself
from a hundred year old mother sediment.

opening stanza of "The Apology"

...till we both are
woken by pain with its orange beak.

end of "Separation"

I cling to you tighter 
than a striped shell
on a fennel stalk.

last stanza of "Snail"

A translator can add only humility
to the original.

from "TB Hospital, 1944"

         She watched a ship
slip into pearl while sunset

picked up importance.

from "Alcyone"

His rage fermented into speechlessness.

 from "The Night of Misrule"

What do you make of this dangerous space,
the gutter? Children commandeer it and conjure
what they can from such silken dust as is
human and poor.

opening stanza of "Graffitista"

...a goddess bereft of
her creation, summoning
my existence to her high sound.


...my whole 
halo of seeds.

from "A Dormative for Strings"

Not a wolf. Surely there is not
a wolf. Some other. I must be guarded.

end of "Opponent"

...if I get lost in End Erring,
find me. I'll be ankling over
stones. At least my backpack,
external organ full of function,
and my marks on snowy bark,
finally at ease with repetition, 
find them, find them.

end of "A Wanderer in End Erring Wood"

Our friends are scrambling towards the top stone stretched
like wall. I hope they sit on it and wave.
The wind has mounted those yew trees.
They're not upright nor our friends.

opening stanza of "Rockborne"

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