Skip to main content

Poem by Julia Casterton

Eyewear is featuring a poem by Julia Casterton, the much loved poet and creative writing tutor, who died last Saturday in London.
Julia (pictured) was born in 1952 in Nottingham where she grew up. She studied at Essex University and worked as a creative writing tutor at the City Literature Institute since 1981, at The Poetry School, and also had a twenty year association with Ambit magazine. A winner of the Poetry Business pamphlet competition in 1990, her first full collection The Doves of Finesterre (2004) won the Jerwood Aldeburgh Prize in 2004. Her books on writing include Writing Poetry: A Practical Guide (The Crowood Press, 2005) and Creative Writing: A Practical Guide (Palgrave MacMillan, 2005).

Julia was one of the most striking, electric, intriguing and engaged people I have ever met. Brilliant. Sympathetic. Critical. Funny. Kind. She was instantly compelling. I taught with her on a shared course at London Metropolitan University last year, and she also read for my Oxfam series, summer 2006. She was a fine poet. This is a great loss.


Blood Oranges

I halve and squeeze them for my breakfast,
their lovely egg and bacon red and yellow,
and see my own blood and my bone marrow
on the six glass hospital slides
like sunrises. “Oh, beautiful,”
I said to the doctor who’d take it
so gently from my hip-bone. “Yes,”
she replied. “Even more so when it’s magnified.”

We sit in the bare ward, waiting,
sunrise after sunrise waiting in my bones.

poem by Julia Casterton
3 comments

Popular posts from this blog

AMERICA PSYCHO

According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…

DANGER, MAN

Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…

OSCAR SMOSHCAR

The Oscars - Academy Awards officially - were once huge cultural events - in 1975, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Shirley MacLaineandBob Hope co-hosted, for example - and Best Picture noms included The Conversation and Chinatown. Godfather Part 2 won. Last two years, movies titled Birdman and Spotlight won, and the hosts and those films are retrospectively minor, trifling. This year, some important, resonant films are up for consideration - including Hidden Figures and Moonlight, two favourites of this blog. Viola Davis and Denzel Washington will hopefully win for their sterling performances in Fences. However, La La Land - the most superficial and empty Best Picture contender since Gigi in 1959 (which beat Vertigo) - could smite all comers, and render this year's awards historically trivial, even idiotic.

The Oscars often opt for safe, optimistic films, or safe, pessimistic films, that are usually about white men (less often, white women) finding their path to doing the right thin…