v a r i o u s  b o d i e s  i n  v a r i o u s  b a t h s

twelve fish open
mouth and sink
shallow in the brook.

it is the mouth of hell.

he says
so you
identify with the one

who cut all her hair off?

and i say nothing.
i shan’t raise him up.

my flock drinks the
water and their
fleeces all turn black.

it is a collective act.

at their meal of glass

my sisters sup the
blood of grapes. black fish
burst and dirty.

they smell sweet, however.
shed their skin like snakes.

f i f t i e s  m e m o r a b i l i a

a poltergeist is smashing plates.
it smells like burning hair.

decorative vintage edge meets
edge of kitchen wall. kitsch

wall unit pours teacups
over me.

recuperate this mug. seal
it with something soft.

like wool plucked from
your own black beastly head.

wouldst thou like to live deliciously?

the devil intones sarcasm
smoking the bones above

your feet. the disembodied
spirit screams obscenities

about a dog. your body.
your skin. her kith. your kin.

a cracking sound summons up
a sheep from out of hell.

the cost is our collective
sanity. and a collection

of vintage plates.

c o a t  f u l l  o f  p l a g u e

local history says the plague

was brought here last by a
coat. a dead girl’s family

sent it up as a gift for one girl
here. and she died. from the

sickness in it. and i often
think of the plague pit

apparently unmarked

where the unmourned bodies of
my brothers lie host

to a hundred plague fed

p a c k e t  o f  m a y f a i r

bruise of smoking,
my mothers head

swells from the
hands of the

bryll cream man

whose blue eyes
presuppose a heaven

that doesn’t care for us
at all.

Meet the Poet!

JW Summerisle lives in the English East Midlands. Their chapbook, ‘kinfolk’, is available from Black Sunflowers Poetry Press (and can be ordered through Waterstones and Blackwell’s). They make and sell artwork, clothing and weird stuff online.