Poem in Which

Dieter (don’t ask) says: “What’s it like on the moon Buzz? What’s it like on
the moon? Is it like, a-drawn? Like with, a-pencil?

What’s it like on the moon Buzz? Tell us, tell us!”

“We left our detritus on it,” says Buzz miserably, “we left our preposterous colours.”
And Dieter looks neither plussed nor nonplussed.

“We left our flag on it,” Buzz continues, and he mumbles:
“and our shame,” and then even more quietly: “We took a goddamn dump on it,”

and then he lowers his orange-tinted visor with his chunky-gloved fingers
and bows his head.

When Buzz does eventually look up, Dieter sees his own reflection
dressed in its earthling costume coming back at him like an admonishment in the glass’s

delicious curve.

And then Dieter turns to me, and-and-and Buzz turns to me too,
the lickable-kissable bowl of that head of his

all leant up towards me.

He’s smiling I think, a joyous full smile beneath the helmet’s atmosphere.
What an impertinent fish he is, looking up at a kindly though enormously hungry heron!

Mark Waldron

Poem in which I’m a bird

My voice now has this minikin flutey quality
and a needling sound where the wind careens through it.

Did you remember the seed? my bird wife cheep cheeped
when I arrived home clutching the shopping in my wings,

and a smile gambolled on her stiff beak lips.
(Her lack of expression drives me so crazy for her sometimes!)

Other birds slide and climb and slip inside clouds and out again,
and land on roofs or trees

or on the parochial ground. My bird wife has laid out
brittle wombs – three serene blue prams.

Our nest is stupendous, instinctive. There they nestle. Inside one,
sky rumbles wet, sky rumbles hard.

It’s calling, she says.
Listen. Touch it with your peculiar flat-hammered fingers.

Mark Waldron

Coming soon in Poems in Which Issue 4

The editors are delighted to announce the contributors for Issue 4:

Lutz Seiler translated by Alexander Booth

Melissa Lee-Houghton

Mark Waldron

Abigail Parry

Emma Hammond

Bobby Parker

Anat Zecharia translated by Irit Sela

Josephine Corcoran

Dollie Stephan

Samuel Prince

Francine Elena

Nicola Gledhill

Fiona Moore

Paul Stephenson

John Canfield

Alexander Speaker

Martha Sprackland

Eireann Lorsung

Joey Connolly

Anna Selby

Sarah Wedderburn

Karl Smith

Giles Goodland

and new artwork from Sophie Gainsley

The Sea

The man and his small dog performed their shuffling dance.
The crinkly suit the man wore was designed to look like the sea,

his made-up face too, was blue and his mouth, a wet cave
that uttered the crunchy sounds of the sea as well as “crab”

and “anemone”. His hair was white and coiffed in the style
of foam; The man and his dog moved towards the audience

then paused and reversed back again like waves. He, of course,
comprehended his role but his little white poodle

in its blue coat only followed, as waves blindly follow their
predecessors towards the jaded shore. On holiday last month

I was entertained by the action of the actual sea. Each wave
that broke on the rocks at Morte Point was its own show.

Each wave struck its pose and then withdrew, grand
and throw-away, tossed off with the nonchalance of

a well-rehearsed performance, yet always fresh and daring
(or so it seemed to me) in its improvised quality.

The variation was infinite and ridiculous, and there was
a distinct new-agey flavour to the whole splash, as well as a

consistent sense of something magically bogus, a contrived
simulacrum of revelatory meaning.

Mark Waldron


but I only gone and diddled-up the Two of Us, en
plein air and in toto too. And yes, I do still hang about

outside the woods. Hum-Spun, sotto. Riddled, I saw
us once, or I thought I did: a lake, we were, or leaves,

or sticks; kind, spitty, skipped. Dripped, we seemed so
freshish. A Modelled Cough of bone we were, and then

some gleaming gibber, and then some squeak of window
onto a vagabond outside: Trees, sky, trees. We were

unfunny in a perfect way. Contos li masso. Masso li
mono. and time, hung heavy on my hands. I scribbled

so, I daubed solo, always Seemingly Doodling. Also,
these painted slits I make to compensate: out-dropped

my trumped-up innards, boiled meats, but distinct and
all, like wet, slippery books on Subjects Medical, like a

trawled up catch, like a library in a Sunken Ship in which
doc-fish have their offices, in which they have their

foffices. Like so many things in fact. And the watery dust
down there in the damn poor, drowned deep among

the monging sea’s ballooning sulk’s, enormous Blousy
Blossom’s bosom. But oh, Here in the tidy dry only our

terrific bones, and only once upon a time, referred to
honest Clatter. I used their grinded dust for dyeing.

Lantoto. Li conto pontoona. Li Fisca Mattera. Contoto
parato, li pa-ra-to. This is it. This is de-fi-nite-ly it.)

Mark Waldron