“I suppose it starts to happen first in the suburbs…people starting to come apart.”
—Shirley Jackson, ‘Pillar of Salt’
Kirk house is still empty I see, poor front border guzzled by furze and lions.
did you know them? sure, you must have been round their barbeque once.
their boy ran for county, always belting around. his father was cross-country
two counties over before the labyrinthitis. 24 and giddy as a still-wet calf. it’s
a shame, and you know Mrs was his sweetheart at school, stood
cheering by the track on wet Saturdays with cold spaghetti hair, so
when the old balance you know, gave out, well they tried to
carry on, but you ask me it’s like old grey underpant elastic by then
can’t wind it back can’t tighten it. they really did cook
the best ribs on that dented old terrace. I’d give my real eyes
for a rib right now you hear the news? the facility.
got out, one of them secure? there’s science for you.
those things can get through any gap bigger than
say, a stamp like jelly. like thinking jelly
and we can lock the gates, clunk bolts, arm alarms
all we like. we all have holes somewhere. you forget
just how what’s the word?
poor. porous. how porous we are.
Kirsten Irving is one of the two editors behind collaborative poetry press Sidekick Books. Her collection, ‘Never Never Never Come Back’ was published in 2012 by Salt Publishing, and she is currently working on a poetry show based on the movie Battle Royale. Her work has been translated into Russian and Spanish, exhibited in a live magazine and thrown out of a helicopter. Kirsten lives in London, where she works as a copywriter, proofreader and voice actor.