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Welcome to Carcanet Press, one of the outstanding independent literary publishers of our time. Now in its fifth decade, Carcanet publishes the most comprehensive and diverse list available of modern and classic poetry in English and in translation, as well as a range of inventive fiction, Lives and Letters and literary criticism.
The Alexandra Sequence The Alexandra Sequence John Redmond
The Number Poems The Number Poems Matthew Welton
The Teller and the Tale The Teller and the Tale Gabriel Josipovici
Commotion of the Birds Commotion of the Birds John Ashbery
Vladimir Mayakovsky Vladimir Mayakovsky Vladimir Mayakovsky Tr. James Womack
Dirt Dirt William Letford
Playing the Octopus Playing the Octopus Mary O'Malley
What Must Happen What Must Happen Jeffrey Wainwright
Selected Poems Selected Poems Nancy Cunard Ed. Sandeep Parmar
Poem of the Day

Lucidity

Sinead Morrissey

I

Every night he meets his family: is crumpled with his sisters
In a cellar, or watches as his niece becomes
Smaller and smaller until she disappears.

He hides boxes from his mother
That hold the bones of elephants, a warrant for arrest,
The shirts of her own buried father.

Caught either in scenarios of rescue, or with some
Bear-trap which he's used to trap and kill a man
In Mexico, he knows the man's his brother.

II

Awake, he never phones or writes
And seems so far away in life and mind
From where they are. Amnesia would be kinder -

Instead he wants to be a lucid dreamer, to enter
Whatever sea of fear and fever
Awaits him when he falls. He wants to change the colour

Of what's been seen and said, way back,
In the place
He can't remember or forget.

III

Suddenly he wanders, attaching
Notes to walls: am I dreaming? If I meet
My family, then I'm dreaming
. . .

They cover the house and the whites of his daylight eyes.
Still, every night his family rises
And the smell of harm, the taste of damage

Invades him like the rush of a narcotic. He never knows he could escape it
With the thought: this is a dream, and everything that happens
Is a trick
. . . until he wakes.

IV

There is an open sky, the kind you find
In desert in November. White clouds go over
At terrible speed. The sky

Is changing always. There are no ridges
On the land, no corners. At the end
Of everything, waving on the ledge

Of the world, pilots are stumbling to find
Their plane. And I am moving backwards, into the source of wind
While they grow

Smaller and smaller until they disappear.

Taken from 'New Poetries II'...
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