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Shadows



The scene’s one of wandering back to a tent, through a field of thousands, flag posts and lamp-lit; the pitch hasn’t moved but their damned if they can find it, more having cropped up in makeshift walkways in-between. The sky’s the final shade from its fullest darkness, throwing clouds across itself like fishing boats, streamlined by currents. Campfire smoke drifts across the site, a half-cut mob of guys attempt to resurrect some fading chant, and a man is running in the inimitable manner of one desperately in need of the toilet. Morning darkens. Now one of the crew mutters something to himself, another sparks a roll-up with the same Zippo that was held to the wall of sound and fading whine conjured not an hour ago; a stack of Marshall amps and the wielding of a custom-built, sunburst Fender Strat… If there is a more direct way back it escapes them, left instead as they are circling in on the plot that, altered by darkness, will finally return to the mind as the changed yet half-familiar face of an old acquaintance might… In the meantime, there are only the torches of camps illuminating their puppetry of contents, and the names the imagination might give to the shadows of intimacy, argument and practicality that flicker so suddenly across them… Wings; The Last Dance; Snakes; A Parting Kiss; This is Something

Comments

BarbaraS said…
Picture and words that work together. Are you doing something new? Sorry I missed you on Thursday, but it was very, very good indeed. I enjoyed The Tesla Coil on the plane home :)
Ben Wilkinson said…
Nothing new as such... just an old prose poem that didn't make it into the pamphlet and I've never looked to place elsewhere. The image is one from Latitude festival, which I reviewed last year. I think the blog's as good a home as any for it :)

Really glad to hear you enjoyed the MR launch anyway; your review of it made for enjoyable reading. The Tesla Coil's in my pamphlet, if you're interested in getting a copy (how's that for a subtle plug?) - also the first poem of mine the late Mick Imlah took for the TLS, so one that I'm quite proud of...
BarbaraS said…
Good plug, and I'll take the hint: to be added to the next batch of buy-ins :)

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About the Author

Welcome to the website of the English poet and critic, Ben Wilkinson.
Ben was born in Staffordshire and now lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. He received his first degree from the University of Sheffield, and holds an MA and PhD from Sheffield Hallam University. He has won numerous awards for his poetry, including the Poetry Business Competition and a 2014 Northern Writers' Award
His debut full collection of poems, Way More Than Luck, appeared from Seren Books in February 2018.
He is a keen distance runner, lifelong Liverpool Football Club fan, and among other things he works as poetry critic for The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement. You can find many of his reviews on this site.
To contact Ben about readings, workshops, or for any other enquiries, you can drop him a line at benwilko(at sign)gmail.com. Unfortunately, I am not able to consider unsolicited requests from authors for book reviews.

You can follow Ben on Twitter - @BenWilko85 - and on Facebook.

You can find B…