Poems by Jen Crawford

Emma Smith, "Blue Figure with Tree" (2009).
Emma Smith, "Blue Figure with Tree" (2009).



at home it was always at night, never in the morning. while she was drifting a

man in a blue swandri came along and stopped by the toilet. he unzipped his zip.

the cave opened up into sunlight — and it was full of butterflies, the size of hands,

he moved forward, bringing her chest in to her knees, disturbing the torsoes,

mobile silence. everything was shining, it was just a bath, there was nothing

stupid about it. the cliffs were sheets of hanging stuff, isinglass crisped into

land forms. “that’s embarrassing,” he said, and tucked himself in. now there

would be no problem fitting her in with the dentist. kiwis cried out in the bush

and cold came up through her wet feet. she exchanged the shoes for a pair

of white crocs, the first of the thirty pairs. it was over very quickly. the rowboats

carried on around the hot, shallow seas. there had been nowhere in her mouth

for the tartar to collect.


we were in the rowboats, making our way around the hot, shallow seas. I had

been looking for a while for a dentist near the shore, and eventually found one,

advertised as offering discretion, a lack of odour, accommodation for

anxieties. debarkation was early, and the dog suffered. up in the hills birds

cried out — weak, weak. I stepped up off the platform onto the flight of stone

stairs. the surgery was glass on four sides, but the dental light blotted out

everything. while we talked an explosion had happened behind me, to the right

of my head, the cloud forming the shape of a lightbulb, so he said kindly.

"I hope no one was hurt." so he said kindly. but I couldn't define the moment

the light happened. there had been no indication at all.

The Black Valley

structure of a quand structure of defertile? hot tent, orange light
and dog your flavoured spittle
              exaggerated                                                           inelephant

real dog as conjuror-of a train real dog arms around (, night, endigo
                                                       inside the train the toothsome alarum oh! that is an
alert passenger. thank you. video on the rooms of rest. calm report. footage of

some severed limbs. a closeup of the caries/who is that man? with the heavy bag.
what is inside the bag. why does he walk away? (. it’s a
wedding in the bag inside the wedding glass wall behind the glass sea

                                                                    a reward (:enformation
ondine in place with dog the smell of your spittle, filling the hot ear. cloze passage.

                            after the reception, the body. en
                            cephalitic. nurses argue cat’s cradle is the structure of the argument.
                            undercatatonia the slippery salmon. placed by the  

                            Power of Castle legislate the turn of the body against heat, protocol.
                            RN to OT: when the appointment for the toenails?
                            this isn’t covered. THIS isn’t COVERED. t wards problem

who takes you in the dog/fat carriage/is only a leaking consideration. the bag is
carried out of sight. who is this man leaking forward the (wedding (carriage
                            (                                                    sand

                                        blowing way from
                                        skeletons of dinosaurs oh bay after bay
                                        to formerly the houses of his aunts, searching

ondinewhile the train and its slipping within the dog’s heat, claws to cheek, am
wished out of breath, and out it goes of its strings and rails wildly across the pier to

a deeper

bubbled lungs


                                                         questing whether a river rears up over the wagon?
                                                         whether a belle is really needed in a bassinette?
                                                         (a soul?

(and did you see she asked
pH of the symptom of reportage
garden of anemones, sleep wards


                                       with the precise repetitions of flowers on the sill
                                       the same chart same bearing on the press-button
                                       a locking, up,

                                       doors frozen, up and down the panicky carriage
                                       dear blinded dog, exquisite in attention
                          to swollen hands (smash glass
                                                                                                            & under rubber lip
                                                                                 a trickle
                                                                   in the dog’s arms a tongue’s ocean

                          apiece with the cracking of seals
jelly-devellumy rednesses coming now to represent
                                                                                                THE BLACK VALLEY

mon oncle
                                                                                                the bearded end of skin


the women report: the bag has detonated. worms alive. this is our final assignment.
the women report without pressing the button. open our mouths to the swim. open our
mouths to the dog swim. whitely in the caries.

                                        H hollers the trouble to a far seabed. walks coasts
                                        arrives in sand. builds a house
                                                      with aunts’ bones. can’t remember the quisling.
            skeletons of the dinos fix hope up and cannot be touched)
                                        but the wind cares for them.
                                        and for his skin the shelter of the skin of his aunts
                                        is a child’s skin. so that he’d have a child
                                        glassine, sugar spun for the loving, all again
                                        anothing made of sugar,
                                        anothing could in the wind (sweetly
                                        spinning along the  line of molten

                                        as in walking
                                        as in walking into the corner of a landed form