It’s NaNoWriMo 2023!!!!

Phew, I’m cutting it fine (nothing much new there then), and whilst I’ve been buzzing for April to arrive to spend the month immersed in all things poetry, I’ve only gone and almost missed day one!

I hope everyone taking part has had an inspiring and poetically productive first day. I’m planning on spending the month sharing a mix of my own writing and the work of poets who inspire me. I will be aiming to also write a poem of my own EVERY day (hah! did I just jinx it and set myself up to fail? Probably…).

So, before I go and tappy-tap and try and create some magic, here are a couple of poems from Angela Cleland’s new collection, Real Cute Danger, published by Broken Sleep Books. I was lucky to attend the local launch of the collection in February this year. Real Cute Danger is Angela’s third collection, and it explores the experience of giving birth and becoming a parent “through the prism of horror and science fiction”. Intrigued? You should be and you can buy a copy of the collection here .

‘At two weeks past conception’ by Angela Cleland

you are already building your eyes – I panic –
what do I know about eyes? The picture
is upside-down when it hits your retina;
women see better in the dark than men;
a flash of their whites is as good as a rabbit’s tail
to send us scampering for our burrows.

But to build one, never mind a pair, from –
what have you got? I don’t even know
the ingredients – proteins? amino acids?
I place a hand on my belly and focus
on your behalf. At each division
we could flunk this: I’m back at school.

All I can do is slide you my jotter
and whisper – I have eyescopy mine.

‘The Snugness’ by Angela Cleland

She has kept all her old skins.
Sentimental, for a snake.

Each seemed outmoded when she sloughed it off,
but now – look at them! – parchment perfection.

Days like today, when she feels small,
she lays them out, sucks it all in

and eases her long way, nudging and nosing,
into the likeliest looking void.

Now, her breaths are whispered scraps –
this is never the good idea it seems.

Has anyone ever died like this? she wonders,
resting, just resting, half out, half in,

eaten whole by a past self,
suffocated by the tightness of their own skin.

~The H Word~

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Wendy Pratt

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