Poem by Iain Sinclair

Considering his prolific output in the realms of fiction, non-fiction, urban satire and – as he puts it – ‘documentary fiction’, it’s sometimes easy to forget how significant and exciting a writer of poetry Iain Sinclair is. I’ve had the Penguin Modern Poets book (Vol.10, 1996) in which he appears, alongside Douglas Oliver and Denise Riley, on loan from the Poetry Library. Here’s a poem from that, hoping that neither Iain nor Penguin will mind the reproduction. Iain’s latest Selected Poems, The Firewall, is available from Etruscan Books; his Hackney tome was published by Penguin last year. Both are excellent in very different ways.

~

sub (not used): Mountain

prize cicatrix suspended in oil
charts flapping proud from damp walls
which are themselves charts
of islands where swamps are undeclared
the superseded house
brutish topiary of the illegitimate bride
weather systems registering a pigeon shed
my lord at his grouse table
filing his second rank of teeth
will you risk the caretaker’s gamey tape
the black worm that lives reluctant in altar bread
an hermaphroditic pope whose lard fingers
slip their rings

strapped into rented ligatures
he stomps the town
dragging Kent & all her oasts behind him

~

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