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.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Two Poems by William Bedford


November 22 1963

John Adams’s Shaking and Trembling

seems about right,

though he hadn’t written it when we met,

John’s Book of Alleged Dances and Harmonium

all waiting in the still unshaken future.

Where were you? Where was I?

I think I was on the train from Kings Cross to Lincoln,

a slow stopping train trundling a bleak landscape.

I know the journey took a long time,

but that might have had nothing to do with the news.

I don’t know about you. Making love in some seedy hotel.

Drinking coffee in a bar in Kensington.

It was a dark day for dying.

I can’t think about it without thinking about you,

the way you liked me to touch your breasts,

the white scar at the side of your ear,

the wet kiss of your thighs when the boy from room service

blushed, backing out of the room.

John Adams is sixty this year. I have a photograph of you

in this room in Wiltshire where I am writing,

but I do not know where you are,

you do not know where I am,

and John Kennedy has become an Andy Warhol poster.


All I had to do was open my window

and the glass tower melted

to leave me in fields I recognised

but could not remember ever visiting.

Were you with me then,

wearing your blue dress and first wedding ring?

I write these poems as though I do remember,

but the girl could be anybody

and the dream . . .

the dream could be a field anywhere,

with Boris Pasternak following the plough

to make his political statement.

William Bedford's poems, short stories and articles have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies over the years and his books have received great reviews. You can read more about him at his website.