Nell Prince




Thunder Under London

It was there

a silver stratocaster making no sound

the air had a bleak purr

I picked up the neck and plucked a shape

Oh blare!  the ringing sweet of that strung gap

music meat to this hollow old world

I played and I flung

I flung out the heavy the sorrow the sadness that hung

I played and I played until an ending

a door to the roof of the sky that cracked

I was living and I attacked with bolts from my fingering pulse the shifting hum of the ohm the electric drone the curve that shouldering curve like a moon’s eclipse or a devil’s horn and that rough vibrating hum

I was being born

gripped at the frets the body smoked

it wrecked through the hollow halls

filled with a green fog the dark air and crammed crashing its waves on the concrete shore where the days had a spark

At last moored to a space I sensed the task:

to summon the living dead

the living that walked step by step, and forked in the dark,
and slept, dull irises that didn’t dare heart, blank faces commuting beyond the fake glare, stuck in the glass forests, the rock bare, and the cells glowing like tombs.




Nell Prince has had poems most recently published in PN Review, The Interpreter’s House, and Sidekick Books’ Battalion.  In 2016 she was runner-up in the Jane Martin prize.  She is working on a first collection.

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