Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

Two poems by Anthony Joseph


For the latest event in the Wild Court Reading Series, King’s College London lecturer and T.S. Eliot Prize winner Anthony Joseph will be reading from his forthcoming Precious and Impossible: New & Selected Poems, published by Bloomsbury this autumn. Anthony will also be in conversation with Luke Roberts, Senior Lecturer in Modern Poetry at KCL. The event takes place on KCL’s Strand Campus, London, from 6pm on Tuesday 12th March. Click here for more details and to reserve your free tickets.

Bukka White

Her cameo rose appeared
in newspapers/as yet indistinct
but coveted/closed down

and humble upon herself
we moaned, then rose up
from dry season fever

to swing hymns of grief
thick with black love.

There was talk of how
the fire spread
through her wooden house,

from a paraffin lamp which fell
upon an unmade bed: coir.
Talk even of her being
still among us

in this afterlife,
in each blink between
our living

dream of life.
How she hovered nearby
in the sweet thereafter, whispering,

so not to startle and expose
the difference
between our world and her’s.

Since our own dying mood
may appear inappropriately;
we may be

sitting at the kitchen window
when suddenly the fire
that we too must face, comes burning.

These are the cameos
of flowerings and fades,
those breathless moments
in Bukka White’s
       Fixin’ to Die’,

reluctant to leave
his children



Poem for Silvia and Charles

A box house by the ocean
       with rooms like flat shoes
       long legs and barbecue
       sauce from Arkansas
       Charles is a weaver of lies
       he makes us sit
       like mannequins
       on a bench
       with no feet
       he parks a fibreglass fire engine
       on madison avenue
the way he says:
       (with a howl)
and the warm pacific
light      with its gold
green     is dusk     and shimmer
       above the palisades

Venice Beach —
glitter in the leaves —
       in the eyes     of trees