The Argotist Online

Home       Articles       Interviews       Features       Poetry       Ebooks       Submissions       Links



My poetry is published in the UK, USA and Australia and NZ and can be accessed on some reputable online journals. Some recent overseas publications are: Jacket, New England Review, Overland, Retort Magazine, Drunken Boat, Free Verse, Slope, Tinfish, Snow Monkey, Magma, The New Writer, Poetry Scotland,, Orbis, Poetry Nottingham, The Reader, Nthposition, Wasafiri, Stride Magazine, Staple, Sentinel Poetry, Neon Highway, Tears in the Fence and Harvard Review.  Forthcoming  - Agenda, Poetry Salzburg Review, Papertiger, Snorkel, and Bravado.




Suffering this morning
from a turnip-fat tongue

white wine that had
taken the short cut

to my mouth too often
I surface squinting

into a sun

by not enough 

Last night the two of us
had our sound systems

turned up
too loud.

You slept 
unaware of the flickering 

the bed shaking. 


Who’s this who
runs through the night

cracking open stars
smashing windows

tossing muck 
into the air?


Juice spills on the floor
as I finally 

reach a woman
who yesterday wasn’t here.

Drink up
and be grateful 

for this is all 
I’ve got for now.

Sun-licked is the site of daisies buttercups clover and a girl

Sun-licked is the site of daisies buttercups clover and a girl
kicking in the seams of a denim-coloured ball

kicking it fiercely and scampering on.

Couples lie about in flesh-made intimacies
each territorially distanced from voyeuristic lip 

readers like myself. Young women are

stretched out on grassy slopes exposing white skin
eyelids bellies thighs sticking their barefeet in the fires of the sun.

Dumped on the lawn there’s this statue 

muscled and veined. A man locked in stone.
A cheap Mediterranean imitation of the Phideas School. I 

touch him with the palm of my hand and a 
dwarf passes - the head of Zeus on a boy’s body. He

feeds bread to swans and the swans rise up on their wings.

The ball comes rolling and I kick it on. The girl
runs past into the mouth of a sculpted corrugated-iron carp.

The ball seems to have a life of its own. It

bounces down a path getting more lift more spring
denting the atmosphere. There are people here

flying about like kites

arms spread out catching the warm whipping winds 
their bodies flattened against a blue sky.

Summer’s quirkiness is spruced up for the occasion. Workmen

with painted faces chain-smoke roll-your-owns and
argue about who’s going to pick up the shovel who’s

going to dig the next ditch. The ball hangs above them -

it hovers wobbles - enters their burnt-out swallowing mouths
one by one by one.


copyright © Iain Britton