Monthly Archives: 

June 2017

Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back, Nine Arches Press, 2017

Edited by Sandra Alland, Khairani Barokka and Daniel Sluman, is a ground-breaking anthology examining UK disabled and D/deaf poetics. Packed with fierce poetry, essays, photos and links to accessible online videos and audio recordings, it showcases a diversity of opinions and survival strategies for an ableist world. With contributions that span Vispo to Surrealism, and range from hard-hitting political commentary to intimate lyrical pieces, these poets refuse to perform or inspire according to tired old narratives.

My poems ‘Creep’ and ‘I Am Hive’ appear in this book.

Available from: http://ninearchespress.com/publications/poetry-collections/stairs%20and%20whispers.html

Listen to the poets from the anthology: https://soundcloud.com/ninearchespress/sets/stairs-and-whispers

Die Back

 

Downpour. Over his ale,
he tells me, Ash wood burns wet.
Trains in disarray, villages
silenced. The English—
forever unprepared. To reach
a bus stop we needed waders.

That website showed us
how to spot the rot: patches
in bark like porter soaking
shirtsleeves; twigs’
black fingernails bared
above canopies.

We fought flash floods
on roads which closed like zips
behind us, to this inn fire
under these ceiling beams.
Some things appear changeless;
there are no tales of tomorrow.

Away in lanes, overhung by ashes’
banana-bunch branches, comes
a creeping flame. Another ale—
he tells me there were fewer
floods, back in his day.

Coming Up for Air

 

She makes him taste of tarragon,
olive oil, black pepper.
He does not rinse his beard.
He wants to wear it

into the warm street like a lit flume.
People gull around his wake,
scenting his beard
comb the line of hers.

A man with rolled sleeves
sniffs and wants to plunge
his tongue
but, through a window, a cab driver

draws breath, tasting
how he waited on
her nipple.
In the foyer, a clerk’s hand

floats over keys,
watching lift-numbers
kiss up her ribs, back down.
The lift fills with pepper

and tarragon. He parts the way,
his beard glowing like her olive
glow, he licks spiced lips
and remembers: goes in.

Creep

 

Your carpet crawls like droplets on a hotplate
and the fear of tiny mouthfuls grows, exponential
to fleabites.

The TV fizzes, and news is scroungers
piggyback our sweet creatures: the country
begins to flake.

You go outside, where dog walkers pointedly
claw at the dole office. Suspicion
crawls up you

as you back for home. Through the curtain,
every curtain on the street fidgets
like carpet fibres.

Bolt Down This Earth

£9.99

Powerful stuff indeed.
Steve Spence

Bolt Down This Earth is published by V. Press and is Gram Joel Davies’ first poetry colleciton.

You can support the author if you buy directly. Please contact him using the email [email protected]. UK postage is free and postage to other parts of the world is done at cost. Please say if you would like it signed.


Cover design by Ruth Stacey

Bolt Down This Earth pulses with energy. These poems hang between ambition and loss; they span survival in the home and on hilltops, stretch over break-ups and break-downs. Gram Joel Davies strips back the boards of existence to look at the wires—searching for human voices where the breeze hums though cable or branch. Adolescent ritual turns to a “lightbulb crushed into light.” His imagery is electrifying. Harmony and dissonance cause unexpected meanings to crackle and spark, while scenes and relationships fuse, so that a “power station is an ice cube / across the mica flats / and cider stymies us.”

Bolt Down This Earth is very vital and very charged.

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