Poetry exclusive from Rowena Knight

Rowena Knight is a lover of poetry and feminism, but has only recently attempted to combine the two. She has been writing for six years; in that time her work has been published on the ezines Pomegranate and The Cadaverine; in the magazines Cake and Rising, and most recently on the blog The Great British Bard-Off and in the feminist zine Binders Full of Women. She has read at the Covent Garden Poetry Café and the London Poetry Festival, and in 2009 she was shortlisted in the Mslexia Women’s Poetry Competition. You can find her online chapbook here. We are very honoured to publish Rowena’s poetry here and hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Numb-legged, and happy as a woman should be.
Now all my clothes fit with cardboard hinges;
I have the most reliable smile.
My bandages are good –
they show that I have earned this.
Don’t you want to take me home and give me a new pain,
one with your name running through the middle
like seaside rock, something
to busy my mouth?
My skin is smooth as clay,
it itches for your thumb.
Watch as I collapse beneath you,
a quiet landslide

They have divided us
from ourselves, saying we’re living
the needle-skin prick
chalk on board
it’s in our biology
simple as PC’s but our genes
are nothing so hardware,
they swing and shift like the sea
and if you hold the shell’s ceramic cold
to your ear you’ll hear
that numb-buzz,
adrenaline ache that comes
with their lumbering, leering,
the swapping of photos
like so many trading cards –
don’t stop listening.
Follow the sound to its source,
swim the shell’s spiral
don’t ice pack flushed cheeks
or coddle bells in reassurance,
seek the end and you’ll find
that what you find looks remarkably
like yourself.

You can tweet your appreciation to Rowena here : @purple_feminist


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