On the Seventh Day of Christmas we bring you Geraldine Clarkson, Alexandra Citron and Jay Whittaker




Through Sludge to Nirvana

Let us go sludging then, the sledges put away,
the snow a dirty sorbet over city streets
and suburban hills. Let us sludge to our hearts’
discontent, Mr Frost tweaking our toes in spite.

Let us manufacture brief heat as we flit, and flirt,
between sheltered spots, plant kisses
on numb-sore faces, chapping lips. And if I stop
on a drear deflowered path, losing my nerve,

you can chivy me on, a step and a step,
in the hope of a sudden valley over the brow,
beyond now, where easy and smiling the old ones
pour sunlight like tea from voluminous sleeves.



Geraldine Clarkson has published two pamphlets: Declare (Shearsman Books), which was a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice, and Dora Incites the Sea-Scribbler to Lament (smith|doorstop), a Laureate’s Choice.




Let Streetview take you home for the holidays

Hitching a white arrow up Saffold Way
the trees are all too tall. It’s garbage day.
The blue door to the old house stands ajar
but should be orange and the street wider
where in summer small feet ran over searing
asphalt for a dare. The birch in the front yard’s
gone with the brown Toyota and begonia beds.
A man in shorts is heading to go in,
his chores complete. I shadow his retreat
back to the kitchen on his left. Ahead
the L-shaped room and stairs, perhaps a cat
scratching the corner of a chair. You are
outside on the balcony, let’s say,
just out of sight, calling us in from play.



Alexandra Citron was born in Washington DC and moved to the UK at 12. An editor by day, she is a Poetry School student, member of the Blue Side Poets and published in Mslexia, Visual Verse and New Boots and Pantisocracies. @AlexaCitron




Happy Christmas, 1978

Not expected: a glossy book
with satisfying new-paper tang,
The Human Body. I am ten
the year my parents gift me sex ed.

Respectable, published by M&S,
although it contains pages
of blood vessels, skeletons, brain,
what rivets me

(sitting amid ripped-off paper,
posh chocolates, tiger-feet slippers,
hoping no-one spots my interest)
is a diagram, cross-section: fucking.

Edinburgh-based Jay Whittaker’s debut poetry collection, Wristwatch, was published by Cinnamon Press in October 2017.  She writes about transition, resilience, grief, breast cancer, and LGBT+ lives (including her own). Her poems have been published in a wide range of magazines. https://jaywhittaker.uk @jaywhittapoet

Note: this poem was originally published in Wristwatch, Cinnamon Press 2017

Comments are closed.