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Pelt

by Sarah Jackson

Unsettling, disturbing poems of family life that took me on a journey, under their author's skin into her mind and emotions at different periods of her life, then out again to explore the artists and writers she cites as influences. I read some poems over and over, and I'm still not sure I understand many. But their tender beauty as well as the visceral, animal images haunt me and I know I will return to them.

Extract

we revolt at night unzipping our red silk skins
turning the pearly ridges of our backs on the moon
white knuckles hovering in a hall of black tulips
there are hoards of us & I'm in charge of the bones

we slither on our limp bellies down to the crocus fields
the touch of our bald bodies making the grass roots sing
if they see us coming they'll beat us with feathers again
we revolt at night unzipping our red silk skins

from Revolution

Parallels

The Memory Tray by Deryn Rees-Jones
The Unswept Room by Sharon Olds
  • The Family - painting by Paula Rego
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