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Poem of the Week - ‘Fairground’ by Chris McCabe

Posted on July 27, 2015 by Pete Hebden | 0 comments

In his latest collection, Speculatrix (Penned in the Margins, 2014), Chris McCabe ranges far and wide in time and locale for his subject matter, from the sinister recesses of Jacobean London to the wild times of Arthur Rimbaud’s France, right up to the here and now. One poem that grabbed me in particular is set somewhere between Liverpool and a florescent fantasy-America... (I love a good funfair.)



Over night a colour palace, an architecture of chance in Liverpool 6,
Fairground Ltd camped on the sports pitch,
corrugates of steel bookpress the daisies
- mnemonics of first kisses - 
the woman in a world of white dogs stops to breathe the sugared

walks past the rails
as crows decimate a candy floss,
- peck the pink face of hair - 
a boy pulls a father into his past
where airbrushed Disney pixelates a hawthorn,
a blackbird explodes its wings behind Coffee & Crepes
- a kite of sticks clatters the branches - 
against an air punctuated with Ghost Train screams,

white trolleys that shunt in a shed of fake jaws
and trammel the creeping jenny that twines the tracks,
a girl in first make-up holds hands & walks like she’s cut in a knife
                                                                                                shower - 
disappears in the black-out of promised horror:

This is Anfield, this is America.


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