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Jacqui Rowe


Jacqui Rowe was born in Birmingham where she still lives. Her poems have appeared extensively in anthologies and magazines, including Mslexia, Smiths Knoll, Tears in the Fence and Poetry Review. Her first collection, Blue, was published by Flarestack Publishing in 2007 and Apollinaire, a collection of her translations selected by Mario Petrucci, published by Perdika in 2009. Regarded in the West Midlands as a "poetry activist", Jacqui runs Poetry Bites, a regular event combining readings from leading poets with floor spots, and Making Poetry, a programme of workshops in Birmingham.At the 2009 Ledbury Poetry Festival, she led two sellout workshops. She is also a trustee of the Poetry Society. She has recently become co-director of Flarestack Poets, a new imprint which will publish its first pamphlets in autumn 2009. A former Head of English in a Birmingham boys' school, she is committed to education, and works extensively as a writer in schools. She is also an Associate Advisor for Birmingham LEA.

so if burst blood 
was all along 
mahogany your walls

your hangings
in one wounded night 
lamps might as menís

dead lites irrupt your 
bloated carpet
from all shattered fronts 

plain as this last global air
violins gather tears
& if each glassy diamond

were the eye of a sudden
madness in that night
what skeleton life

undecorated could you
speak immobile

(after Sauvage Rappel)

steel oil coffin
pumped with 
decapitation stench
these little silvered bodies
guillotined in turnip fields
seas they saw grey coast
of Thule under metal mists
their berths stinking now
of toxic restaurants
but far behind such
nakedness their mute song
to Fish Heaven an ocean 
cool and moonlight bleached
pale as consumptive Sea
of Serenity those long 
silver beams where enduring
eternity unimpeded by shags
nets all small fish will swim

lacking every accoutrement
voice hands knees 
of prayer sardines pray 
for us

(after Fourest Sardines Š líhuile)

to lose such wonder
your statue eyes accent
that night buried in my cheek
solitary breath of roses

how this boundary pains me
trunk without branches more than I 
feel lacking flower pulp clay
for worm of my despair

if you are hidden riches
my cross my drowned hurts
I may be spaniel to your master

never waste all I gained
decorate your river with leaves
you throw away in segregated autumn


in obscure night 
I pronounce your name
when stars arrive
to lap the moon sleep
hidden amongst fronds
I am hollow of
desire and music
demented clock sings 
old times extinct
name of you I say more
distant than planets more
bereft than docile rain
I want you then as 
sometimes blame
adheres to my heart
if fog grows flimsy
what other passion
waits for me how 
tranquil pure as if
my fingers could
rip pages from 
the moon







copyright © Jacqui Rowe