Wayne Holloway-Smith



One story goes a man on his lunch break was hit
by a falling baby falling from a very high window
of a building the man was passing on his lunch break
the man saved the baby’s life accidentally getting landed on
the man saved that exact baby’s life accidentally getting landed on
one exact year lateron his lunch break breaking
the slightly-more-grown-baby-falling-
from-the-same-window’s fall accidentally
the man’s name isJoseph Figlock what is sad is
the realisation this baby
could literally mean anything
but doesn’t
it does not
what is not known is whether that baby
a toddler by nowhas fallen a third time
whether he is falling still and at this moment crying out
where is Joseph Figlock I can’t see him why isn’t he here




I’m sorry Keep the obscene cat sometimes puffed to the edges of my bed his name is Rim-
baud keep the bed I conned the wealthy and wholly religious landlord into buying then with
such stamina for dishonesty have packed down and carried with me across the false eye the
false cloudy eye of the city keep the eye I’m very frightened of the way its pupil an untrust-
worthy thing a device for conjuring fear is hidden beneath the thick and carbonizing air


and a cat

I have had to take my lungs and climb through
bless the fear accumulating in me like a bed so
many people have slept in with stamina
I have it all now in neat Scandinavian packaging
flush to my back I’ve done carried it across all
the moments up to this one here and here I
am holding my breath putting everything down
for a bit to rest for a bit then building it all back
up into something no packing it all down again
and walking can I tell you the greatest secret?
I have loved somebody so much I can no longer
brush my teeth so much that all I can think of is
the story of an old married couple mangled in a
car accident or that good man and his moustache
in that show I watched on TV dying too soon so
sad and away from his perfect life


Wayne Holloway-Smith‘s debut collection, Alarum, was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2017, shortlisted for the Roehampton Prize and named The Poetry Book Society Wild Card Choice. His poem, ‘Short’, won the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize.

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