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06 | 16 : Simon Barraclough


Simon Barraclough

Simon Barraclough gets to the core of things with these delicious short poems from his new book, Neptune Blue. Don’t miss him at the Fruitmarket on 16 August.

Starfish Heart

swabs dead cells
from the jungle gym of my ribs
as it clambers about,
fooling doctors and cardiographs.
I wonder why it has five limbs?
Something to do with Fibonacci
and clutching at straws.
And starfish don’t even have hearts.

Pizza Heart

Squat ellipsoid of dough.
Yeasty, pummelled, elastic.
You knuckle into it,
it takes the dimpled kneading
of your need,
you twirl it thin and wide, ridiculous dervish.
Into the fire with it.

Celeriac Heart

Sits knobbly in the fridge
with my lungs and ribs.
I don’t know what to do with it.
Peel it, dice it, boil it, mash it,
serenade it with razor strings of mandolin?
It goes off.
It’s binned.
Next time
I’ll search for recipes online.

Artist Carolina Melis interprets the three poems above in the video below rather beautifully:

Simon Barraclough’s debut, Los Alamos Mon Amour (Salt Publishing), was a finalist for Best First Collection in the Forward Prizes 2008. In 2010, spacehe published a boxed minibook of commissioned poems, Bonjour Tetris (Penned in the Margins), and Neptune Blue was released in July 2011. His work also appears in the anthologies Identity Parade (Bloodaxe, 2010) and Poems for Love (Penguin, 2009). In 2010, he devised Psycho Poetica, a collaborative celebration of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, which was performed at the BFI, The Whitechapel Gallery, Latitude Festival and the Royal Festival Hall.


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