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Poem by Kathryn Simmonds

Eyewear is very glad to welcome Kathryn Simmonds (pictured) this Friday.

Her first full collection Sunday at the Skin Launderette was published earlier this year and is a Poetry Book Society recommendation; it is also shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Her work has appeared in a number of journals including Poetry London, The Guardian and The Scotsman. In 2006 she won the Poetry London Competition.

Like many of the leading younger British poets of the moment, she has an MA in Creative Writing - in this instance from the University of East Anglia. Simmonds also writes short stories. She works as an editor and lives in north London.


The World Won’t Miss you for a While

Lie down with me you hillwalkers and rest,
untie your boots and separate your toes,
ignore the compass wavering north/north west.

Quit trailing through the overcrowded streets
with tinkling bells, you child of Hare Krishna.
Hush. Unfurl your saffron robes. How sweet

the grass. And you, photographer of wars,
lie down and cap your lens. Ambassador,
take off your dancing shoes. There are no laws

by which you must abide oh blushing boy
with Stanley knife, no county magistrates
are waiting here to dress you down: employ

yourself with cutting up these wild flowers
as you like. Sous chef with baby guinea fowl
to stuff, surveillance officer with hours

to fill, and anorexic weighing up a meal,
lie down. Girl riding to an interview,
turn back before they force you to reveal

your hidey holes. Apprentice pharmacist,
leave carousels of second generation
happy pills. The long term sad. And journalist

with dreams, forget the man from Lancashire
who lost his tongue, the youth who found it,
kept it quivering in a matchbox for a year.


poem by Kathryn Simmonds
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