Poems by Abigail Parry
The Man Who
I was frightened stiff by a lot of my characters.
Wow boy you’ve got some nerve –
bitten down, a sliver of live line,
stuttering filament, blown,
wired up all wrong, strung out
and going like a striplight, too
thin, I tell you, you’re too thin!
A shock a finger-in-a-socket,
blue, electric blue and fine,
fine like cocaine, fine like flickknives,
scissored-out, snuck out the back of the
catwalk, fine like nail files,
first live birth
of the space age, dead in the wreckage
but always climbing out, always stepping
through a door
into the new, new
cut in acrylics, crystalline,
one hundred thousand miles
of chrome and foil,
or wicked in pinstripes, drainpipes,
slick, tooled up
what happens when the mask sticks?
What happens when the ice stays stuck?
hollowed out like a flute, like a pinion sunk
in the heart of boy like you –
then you’ve got to burn out –
down to the fingers, down to the quick,
to the quick quick heart of a white-hot
boy like you
who could strut and preen, burn up
and then roll over
who stitches catsuits from his ogres,
on first-name terms with all the scary monsters –
SCUM PERVERT WEIRDO FREAK
nothing sticks to you,
but fuck, weren’t you
everything we feared, and all we wanted?
About the poet
Abigail Parry spent seven years as a toymaker before completing her PhD on play in contemporary poetry. She is currently Poet in Residence at the National Videogame Arcade. Her poems have been printed onto mirrors, scattered over London from a helicopter, translated into Spanish and Japanese, and published in a number of journals and anthologies. She received an Eric Gregory Award in 2010, and won the Ballymaloe Prize and the Troubadour Prize in 2016.