The Emma Press Anthology of Aunts

A poem of mine features in this celebratory anthology from The Emma Press, launched this week. The anthology has poems covering all kinds of aunts, both real and fictional, from historical to crazy to heavy metal-loving. Beautifully designed and edited, it’s full of high-quality work and it’s a real pleasure to be in such good company.

My poem covers a few bases; it’s a eulogy, a marker, and an exploration of memory all wrapped up in the classic Sims games. It looks at the things we leave behind that aren’t always physical. Here’s a look at the cover:

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The anthology is available direct from The Emma Press website.

#28 Yesterday I Thought My Mouth Had Stopped Working

It was a hole in my face,
for sure, but the mashed potato globlets
I deposited into the ready box

left no feel upon the viscous walls
of the vacuum funnel, the salami coloured
head pipe, the slick, oozy viaduct;

in effect my mouth and its apparatus
was entirely, jaw-wobblingly, numb,
was in truth more like the doll’s mouth a young child

willfully spoons tepid porridge into,
the lack of an actual cavity
meaning the porridge ends up shmushed against

the mildly perfumed, fuchsia rubber
that mimics the gullet hole,
but is the puckered mouth’s own fakery.

It then seemed possible that my own mouth
might be faking, might be a thin lie
producing synthetic spittle,

polluting itself with an ulcer or two,
regurgitating rehearsed platitudes
in the voice of a listless secretary.

It may wish to unhook itself from the lips
that would bind it, to search for other mouths
into which it might push its pretend tongue,

its tongue bloated with lies and generalities,
because it knows that we are all just things
into which other things may enter

and out of which other things may pass;
and the face’s blackened coin slot resisting
is the telltale sign we’ve malfunctioned.