Iain Britton


tips its thin-stretched shadow

across my face


the jug boils

and the worm in the night

sambas by lamplight

syphons the air/


the quickness of life

homes in on the heatwave

of a town’s excitement


the jug boils

and time leans sharply on its axis

the earth’s voice slips on peoples’ tongues

it flashes in eyes /      which speak of

wakefulness / intent /      of

going to Te Mana o Turanga


the strawberryalarmclock

lip-reads my thoughts /        tracks

my movements up streets

past boys and girls / the high jinx clatter


shall i enter the self portraits

of this house / the

wooden look-alike carvings

the dusty


of used-by names

the descending axis of time leans sharply


under this roof

the adzed hydrocephalic heads

follow the wand-like shifts of my hands

i touch

the features of a father a mother

their son

with his curled nub of hair


going to Te Mana o Turanga

is a fern-frond experience

unfolding known guardians /

is a community

holding hands and never letting go /

like today

how delicate the veils

of narcissism /      how

dangerously delicate

to live

within the window dimensions

of a red-stained pool

of brittle flowers


the strawberryalarmclock

leans sharply on its axis of time


the jug boils

and i imagine someone methodically

shuffling courtesies /      i drink

a cubist’s perception

of a cloud in coffee


is how light grips

a comet’s cranium
fragments itself

into the hollowed-out horn

of its keeper /

clouds burst

on an early sunrise

i hike the city / the length of the river
the homes the apartments the butcher
baker and his dog dancing
after shadows


i continually think of your lips

which register your pout of the day
which spell out reactions
sensitivities / various intakes of breath
which express a one-sided argument


you seem to want to give substance

to imagery

unlock it

show it

a conjuring circus of wild life
is exhibited
by your wishes


to belong

focuses on the totemic priority

of who pushes down hardest

whose words

are squashed / mangled


into the dirt / then resurrected


you’ve slipped me into your envelope of silk

into a dreamer’s prophecy

you’ve a method of loving /

holding on

to your abacus

of rituals


the blue shrine which grows amongst the hibiscus
which unwraps its future for public inspection
sheds its golden dome every winter

the blue shrine’s doors never close


i assimilate the early-bird pervasiveness

of a fragrant fall-out

i think continually

of being with you

of how to drape myself around god’s astral neck

and spin new prayers from the tongues of bells


the pageantry of morning resumes

the waking of sheep cattle the man
the woman in the street the child
tipping the first clear parable to her lips
the blue shrine illuminating its gates

Iain Britton’s most recent collections of poetry are Hauled Head First into a Leviathan, (Cinnamon Press, 2008), nominated for Best First Collection category in the Forward Poetry Prizes, Liquefaction, (Interactive Press, 2009), Cravings, (Oystercatcher Press, 2009), Punctured Experimental, (Kilmog Press, 2010 ) druidic approaches, (Lapwing Publications, 2011), and the pamphlets the psychology of a river, (Greendoor Publishing, 2012) and tusitala of white lies, (Like This Press, 2012). His work was included in the Shearcatcher Poetry Anthology published by Shearsman Books, 2012. A new collection of poems has just been published by Kilmog Press, with Rufus Books (Canada) publishing in 2015. He lives in New Zealand.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.