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Steve Spence - Three Poems

Steve Spence

The West Side

“All of us are likely to remember
things that never happened,” he
said, “but this image shows some-
thing of consequence and do we

really know what we’re looking at?”
Do you know the work of Fiona
Banner? In this case the suspect
pleaded guilty but the horseshoe

bat is a rare creature indeed.
“I polished the living daylights
out of it,” he said. Have you
ever planted an impossible

memory? Two marble dogs guard
the entrance and an empty swim-
ming pool is filled with leaves. 
“The cloud is thickening up,” he

said. Where have all the starlings
gone? Do you have your story straight?   

Making A Journey

All systems are imperfect but we
can’t always trust our memories
and distortion is inevitable. “The
winds are continuing to weaken,”

she said. Once again our rivals
aren’t far behind and it’s always
a question of cutting through the
noise. Have you seen The Punch

and Judy Man? How hot is it going
to get? “The eruption was over in
minutes,” she said, “but it produced
an unusually large ash plume. Mean-

while, more homeless people have
been dying on our streets. “These bird
songs are more complex than we can
imagine,” he said. Garamond or Times

New Roman? Did you know that the purple
sand piper lives by the edge of the sea?

Obsessed With Colour

Empty streets and smoking
ruins, this is the future now.
“It’s Atkinson Grimshaw,”
she said, but it’s a photo-

graph, not a painting.” Here
we have a bowl of rice and
a pocket book of birds. This
looks like being another

disorderly rout, not a managed
retreat and rescue. “Bring on 
the chrome yellow and the cobalt
blue,” she said. Everything here

is speckled and freckled but we
need you to witness a signature
and it’s time to forage for food.
Do you have articulate shoulders? 

“Either you are drunk or I am dead,”
she said. Emigration or adaptation? 

Copyright © Steve Spence, 2022

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