Too late it becomes apparent

that this is one of those poems
in which the teasingly unresolved title
doubles as the opening line

soon after which, you find you’ve
lost the will to persevere with it,
zoning out and moving on
before you’re halfway in.

A shame, because this means
you’ll never make it to the last bit,
which would halt you, open-mouthed
at its uncanny pinpoint aim:

home in like a smart bomb
on that bunker full of what you
can’t or don’t or won’t remember,
that refuses to be named—

the stuff that got you writing in the first place,

that you’ve been picking at the edges of,
in code, without your knowledge,
one imperfect stanza at a time,
your entire bloody life.



Currently based in Norwich, Birkenhead-born Ken Cumberlidge has been writing and performing his work for 40+ years. Recent work has appeared online (Algebra of Owls / Allegro / IS&T / Message in a Bottle / The Open Mouse / Picaroon / Pulsar / Rat’s Ass Review / Spilling Cocoa… / Strange Poetry / Snakeskin). For more please click on: Soundcloud and  YouTube