Two Poems | Raymond Antrobus | Granta

Two Poems

Raymond Antrobus

Fit & Moral

The man vomiting in the park has only
the tree to lean on. His green sick gushing out
like water from a busted hydrant. The woman
working out by the bench, mid-lunge
turns away, the man grunting through pull ups
on the climbing frame closes his eyes. The crack
and spit of sickness is everywhere, everyone

is tangled in the mess. No one moves towards
naming. Look at me preaching, writing
noticing is a small and quiet way to begin
moving away from the passive crowd. O God,
look, my gym bag that reads Lift. Laugh.
Live. What form will I take now?
Is some fit and moral Saint about to appear?





Power Grid

still shivering you stumble
through the dark looking

for the switch that won’t work
you creak open

the bathroom door
and see the water

in the toilet bowl
frozen over

so you wake your pregnant wife
pack a bag of clothes and drive

slowly across the 4am iced roads
when you draw up

to the hotel car park no one is
on the street except a woman

in a doorway in a nightgown
waving shouting call the police

he’s going to kill me!
a man marches up

behind her and
a police car pulls out

of nowhere
I’ll kill you!

shouts the man
as his wrist is slapped

with handcuffs you can’t
stay here you have to drive

to another hotel
you have to brave

the icy roads that say
I could kill you

to the car as the wheels
slide over it

now you have taken
the shape of something

that loses what it knows
in the cold I could kill you

say the frozen trees
breaking apart

and collapsing
beside you


Image © Marketa

Raymond Antrobus

Raymond Antrobus is the author of the poetry collections To Sweeten Bitter, The Perseverance and All The Names Given. He also hosted Inventions in Sound for BBC Radio 4 and Recaptive Number 11,407 for BBC World Service. He is a fellow of the Royal Literature Society and his poems are part of the UK’s GCSE syllabus.

Photograph © Adam Docker

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