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Two poems by Sophie Robinson


where the heart is streaming
Sophie Robinson

there are places in which the mind thrives like plankton, where jobs
are easy to come by & every apartment overlooks the park, where
the funeral has barely started & the heart is a mist that rises & clears
like a browser & streaming faster — a gapless surface of fake solids

& there are places in which love reproduces itself like a lizard’s tail, heeds
to no alarm or database.  places where the sun raises like a fat cunt
glowing in the sky.  places where the rats don’t race but rat out
their days in a waterlogged stupor.  places you can dive into from a height

there are places where a heart is megashared & its kitchens always full
of foods.  where babies name themselves.  a place you cannot unknow
& in some place from the past there is a bucket doubling as a womb, full
of infant newts & frogspawn.  in some place you cannot know is you

full to the brim with ungendered yearning.  & there are places that smell
of honey & decay, places where mistakes can be undone by pressing
a sequence of two or three keys.  places where the language flows uncoded,
where everybody understands each other.  there are places where people

burn money to keep warm, places where every shop window is broken & blood
makes patterns on the walls.  there are places where every building looks
the same & nothing can be bought or sold.  there are places through which
a tall fence runs with holes too small to kiss your opposite number

& there are places in which each citizen is tattooed, head to toe, with the face
& body of another citizen & everybody takes to the lakes naked, places
where public transport is free & police tip their hats to beggars on the streets
& nobody dies.  there are places where the dead rise from their graves

& avenge the living, places where the dead turn into doves just to peck
themselves dead again.  there are places in which bleeding takes the place
of talking, places with water in place of mirrors, with eyes instead of cameras,
patches of pure darkness on a google map, places you can’t arrive or leave

& there are places in which the lives of happy & boring people unfold
day after day, where nobody writes anything down & nobody suffers
from the damp & cold.  there are places you have been & will
never go again, where the yearning to visit stands in for the visiting

as though you could trick yourself out of death or labour for a second
go at being free.  there are places where the moon is god-blocked into
a pinprick, & places where it largens & honeys, places night never falls
& the citizens sleep with snakes across their eyes to block the light

& the heart itself a snake knotted into a place we can never see or fathom
a stupid fist raised in protest, shrinking by the minute, longing to be dropped
in steaming water, to expand to the size of a glass like a hybrid tea rose sewn
together in a factory in bangladesh & sold for eight hundred times its worth

& the workers streaming utopia their bodies dropping from the walls all night


the lives of perfect creatures

tender brothers, their baby-hearted chin curls wavering
thinly on tickled spring (boy poodles, fussed over, bouncing,
folded in administrative fetish, far from the softening new
born furcurls of real babes bursting onto the future who cry
& cry without lament) & today I myself have the kicked-in boy face
of a brat; my cow halved womb full of wriggling fish half-
dead, flopping & long-ignored besides; wet almond-eyes shy
of both the teenson’s fatal cheek & an original love of the milkteat
feeding 10,000 desperate excesses w/the jolting strains of
one bitter & shrunken tit for an alarmclock. out of bed, get to it!
heartsure & strong, in spite of everything            (feel my neck, baboom)
                                                                                                go i


Sophie Robinson was born in 1985. She has a PhD in Poetic Practice from Royal Holloway. Her first collection, a, came out from Les Figues in 2009, and her second collection, The Institute of Our Love in Disrepair, was published by Bad Press in 2012. In 2011, she was the poet in residence at the Victoria and Albert Museum. She lives in Clapton and works as a lecturer in poetry at UEA.

Well Versed is edited by Jody Porter.
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