New Writing In Various Forms, edited by Michael Blackburn

The Review is now on permanent sabbatical.

Many thanks to those who contributed.

The rest, as the man said, is silence.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Gower Road and Fall: Poems by Cliff Yates


He dreams all day of a crowded party,
strangers dancing round his room
with the sink in the corner

and American
novels on the mantelpiece.
All he has to do is lie there

every possible future
at that moment before him.

Rain streams down an inside wall
loosening the plaster.
We gather downstairs in the sitting room

with the landlord’s piano
then it’s Saturday Night, the gateway
to Sunday Morning

by Velvet Underground and Nico
the one with the banana on the cover.


The tablets work but send him to sleep
though when he can make it, the eight inch reflector
is manoeuvrable, so that’s a blessing,
what with the dodgy hip and that hill of a garden

and bearing in mind that time observing Mars
when he stepped back off the low stone wall
at three in the morning and lay sprawled
on the rockery and January frost
calling softly for help while the guinea-pigs
trembled in the corner of their hutch

or after the Beer Festival, when he opened
the door pulling into Southampton, stepped off
the train before it stopped, fell and rolled on his back
after insisting that all the commemorative
glasses go in his rucksack because
he’s the mature student, he’s the sensible one.

Cliff Yates is the author of Henry's Clock (winner of the Aldeburgh first collection prize and the Poetry Business book & pamphlet competition). A new collection, Frank Freeman's Dancing School, is forthcoming from Salt. Cliff's website -