15 Jan 2019 / #Arvon50
The Literary Life
I have found my place at Lumb Bank,
a wooden bench outside the communal dining room,
away from the poets. I light my cigarettes,
smoke in the chill air of critique,
watching Ted Hughes’ abandoned garden hang
from the edge of a cliff it could fall over.
Ravens intimidate the silence
in dead trees on blue-black hills, blocking the sky,
trying to block the light of my mind.
I draw deeply on isolated addiction,
consider the destiny of my
overexposed and x-rayed words.
At this place, where rivals are star-crossed
bedfellows, across the black-rocked gulf,
I throw my doubt to the monument
made of all the cigarettes I am finished with.
Arvon turned 50 in 2018 and to celebrate we have collected the stories of writers far and wide who have a tale to tell about Arvon. The collection is published in our anniversary booklet and featured on our blog. This contribution is a poem by Irene Hossack. She attended an Arvon course tutored by Liz Lochhead and Matthew Sweeney at Lumb Bank and wrote ‘The Literary Life’ during her week there.
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