01 Sam Tate and Rachel Long
Welcome to the first ever episode of Dickens and Quips!
This week we have Sam Tate on the show and I shall be reading from My Darling from the Lions by Rachel Long.
Find Sam at @samtatepoet on Facebook, Twitter and Insta
Rachel Long is @rachelnalong on Twitter. #
We are at
Prompt for this week is "I dance in my own head" and you don't have to be an established poet to submit a poem.
I was a choir-girl. Real angel
-lightning-faced and giant for my age.
Mum let us stay up late
if we went with her to night vigil.
It started at midnight, a time too exciting to fathom.
How the minute and the hour stood to attention!
During Three Members' Prayer, my sister fell asleep
under a chair, so she never knew
how I sang. Or how I fell silent
when the evangelist with smiling eyes said in his pulpit voice
Had she woken, I would have told her, Sleep, sleep!
so she'd never know Smiling Eyes
also meant teeth,
or that he had blown candle for hands,
with which he led me down an incensed corridor,
and I followed.
We sat in the pub,
surrounded by poets,
conjoined from hip to knee.
We walked, smiling,
swapping stories of
ridiculous siblings, giggling.
You showed me how
to spot Orion.
By his belt
and disco shoulders, you said.
Not sure if it was
invitation or starlight
in your eyes, I left.
On the train home,
Orion mocked me from his
celestial dance floor.
by Dee Dickens
A Little Closer to the Edge
Young enough to believe nothing
will change them, they step, hand-in-hand,
into the bomb crater. The night full
of black teeth. His faux Rolex, weeks
from shattering against her cheek, now dims
like a miniature moon behind her hair.
In this version the snake is headless — stilled
like a cord unraveled from the lovers’ ankles.
He lifts her white cotton skirt, revealing
another hour. His hand. His hands. The syllables
inside them. O father, O foreshadow, press
into her — as the field shreds itself
with cricket cries. Show me how ruin makes a home
out of hip bones. O mother,
O minutehand, teach me
how to hold a man the way thirst
holds water. Let every river envy
our mouths. Let every kiss hit the body
like a season. Where apples thunder
the earth with red hooves. & I am your son.
BY OCEAN VUONG
You are yellow;
The colour of sunshine,
reflecting off the white of my skin.
The sun shining,
finding the milky-way whites of my eyes.
The light was drawn
into the dark stone well
of my pupils –
and the colour is
What was block yellow,
bold and defiant against the darkness,
like an excorcist –
is, now, less.
The shade has become opaque;
I can see it,
blurring the factory settings
of my optical input.
I can see through it.
And I have to wonder
what palet the world would take
if you took away your filter.
Would my eyes sing out in monochrome?;
Could I ever grow to know
the pastel kiss of flowers?;
The violent strokes of neon?;
The duality of sky and sea,
as my feet softly dig
into the golden freckles
of the beach?
Or, would I be resigned to graphite?;
My sight surrendered
to the two-hundred and fifty-six shades of grey?
Along the left bone of my hip,
‘LOVE WINS’ is tattooed
in the colours of pride.
The yellow ‘E’ is fading;
slowly disappearing from my skin.
Tell me, will the colour ever stand out again?
By Sam Tate
Line that makes you go OOOOH!
"Girl, you're the blackest you ever might be in here"
From Communion by Rachel Long
Next week, How To Carry Fire by Christina Thatcher