poetry pf header

 

 
home>poets>Jane Kirwan

Jane Kirwan     about Jane      more poems

events listing

 

home button poets button features button

links button shop button about ppf button email ppf button

 

 

first published The Rialto;

                                                          in collection, Stealing The Eiffel Tower, 1997,

                                                          Rockingham Press ISBN 1-873468-50-4

 

Course Work

 

I know her again in the curve of her neck,

rinse conditioner through knotted hair

as she kneels by the bath, silent for a moment

reprieve from sulks about empty freezers

 

doors slamming at dawn, black lipstick.

The infection in the fourth hole of her ear-lobe

she’s dealing with herself. I massage her scalp

 

this remains one thing I can do.

Smell of almond, swell of a back that’s more

like her father’s. There is blood on the pack

under the chops. She arranges them on the table

 

with the rusty cleaver I bought in Beijing

a year before she was born. She’s decided to do

eight pieces of work about meat and knives,

copies traces of blood soaked into the absorbent pad

 

— it must be designed deliberately.

My mother asked the butcher to separate bills

from weekly deliveries; dried out crimson puddled

accounts on the metal spike in the bedroom cupboard.

 

She never mentions her cousin who died with a snap

of his spine. The axe slices into slabs of pink flesh.

I’ve been buying meat all week. Who’d love a butcher,

red fingers scrubbed, apron tight over a smooth belly.

 

I need white she says, for the fat. She switches to oils,

asks me to look in Sainsbury’s for a really red fillet.

Blood on the pack, stains on the back of a skirt,

curve of her neck as she leans over the paper.

 

 

Jane Kirwan

 

last update:

Jane Kirwan photo

e-mail Jane

poetry favourites:
 

and in the shop ...
novel -
"Don't Mention Her",
Blue Door Press

collections -
"The Man Who Sold Mirrors",
and
"Stealing the Eiffel Tower",
Rockingham Press 

joint collections -
"Born in the NHS" (with Wendy French)",
The Hippocrates Press

"Second Exile" (with Ales Malhácek),
Rockingham Press
&
in Czech translation
"Druhy Exil",
Novela Bohemica

 


© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet
site feedback welcome