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Skate and Samphire: A Trailer for Mark Burnhope’s The Snowboy


Mark Burnhope enters the ranks of Salt Publishing this week when his debut pamphlet, The Snowboy, is published in the Salt Modern Voices series. Mark, an exciting young poet, will be popping by Tonguefire in August to talk about the pamphlet, poetry, disability and faith. Meanwhile, to whet your appetite in a slightly unorthodox fashion, here is a cento I created using lines from the book:

Skate and Samphire

The sky wavers over blues
undergoing correction in the workshop.

A fingernail wind
fiddles the door lock with a feather.

Loosing breakers overnight,
I will anchor a cyclone beneath

the beams and the ceiling rose,
Bach in the background.

My better eye has seen
a pale vessel, drifting, singing,

whose light spell whispers
when the waves crash hard

around this non-discriminatory town,
a five inch-wide labyrinth.

A fortnight of light depression
— our blackest flower —

and, like a cirque-du-freak performer,
I fall bedlong into the geography

of the tethered body,
the frothing of mugs and mouths.

Everything skint and sorrowful watches
all the eras — golden, good, evil and a little sick.

Man submits to the year’s
most unnewsworthy quake.

Man submits to climb
a cliff summit, or summat like it.

Man submits to man,
held to the board and hammered.

My roughened, subdivided figurine,
carry my cross for me.

(Ah, it stings.)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 28/07/2011 09:32

    I am so glad this chapbook is coming out, I think it’s a really strong collection.

    • Andrew Philip permalink*
      28/07/2011 10:29

      Absolutely, Angela. I’m with you on that!

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