Two poems by Angus Sinclair
Whether or not the sky is like bath tiles
you scoop those soft boiled egg whites for crabmeat,
add too much salt. I crack your paperbacks’
spines, and the ice cubes in your wine glass creak.
I quietly skip the dull pages. Lunch
is cognac and canned trout. When the thunder
barrels in it’s lights out at the chalet
park. No mirrors are empty mirrors, or
all mirrors are empty mirrors you said,
picking the sand out of the sugar bowl.
That small perpetual noise is not a clock,
there’s more sand in the bed sheets and bath towels.
We are in and out, regular as breath.
The wasps’ nest over the door is a wreath.
notes towards a pantoum
I was offered a bit part in the writing of a poem. I browsed around for the
best coffee bar in town and began: The wind blew / the window was blue / fruit-
flies flirted in their bowl. The refrain contained butterflies in banana
I browsed the board, placed an order, burned my tongue on a long black,
brown beer bottles rattled in their crates – it felt continental. The refrain
changed to bluebottles in boarded-up fire stations, there was sunlight like
butterscotch / bounding through the afternoon.
When a beer bottle shattered a plate of blueberry pancakes, I began to
think about birds, perhaps with porcelain beaks. The sunset broke the
afternoon in half, the sky was like bourbon, this long black’s like an act of
translation (or peanut-butter).
I scribbled out the birds, broke my nib, blue ink on pink paper. On the
long walk back home, the translucent moon was buttoned up. I offered you
a bit part in the writing of a poem. The wind / blew the window through / blue
fruit / flies flattened in their bowl.
Angus Sinclair is a graduate of the Creative Writing programme at UEA. His work has also been published in Poetry Review, Ambit and the anthology Dear World & Everyone In It (Bloodaxe).