George Szirtes
Great Yarmouth

The sea was black and far beyond the sand
an icy gust blew between whatever shelter
the promenade offered. Life was out of kilter
in the world and here was proof. A bright band

of amusement arcades caught the full force
of the wind. Their hyperactivity
was manic, all lights flashing, each a city
in its final throes. A tiny fairground horse

whinnied at The House of the Dead where ghouls
materialised and were cut down in a spray
of music. The place was empty but men lay
on stone steps, buckled and broken in pools

of flat Sega blood, and everywhere the roar
of tiny coins and pebbles on the shore.


Out of kilter and broken. Late winter light,
which is to say, no light at all, except this.
And it was buzzing and flashing, its synapses
wholly preoccupied, breath short, chest tight,

sweating slightly. Rank upon brilliant rank
of potential cardiac arrest, and all for nothing.
It was the latest gothic passing its dark wing
over the empty seafront on its way to the blood bank.

And here was England, shouting at the sea,
a single bent figure glaring behind the change desk,
surveying its domain, the new grotesque.
It was terrible to see it. Outside the fresh, free

silence and the barren wind, a fast car,
the darkness vast, without a single star.

George Szirtes
fot. archiwum autora

Selected Poems, OUP, 1996
The Budapest File, Bloodaxe 2000
English Apocalypse, Bloodaxe 2001
Metro, OUP, 1998
Reel, Bloodaxe, 2004

Strona autorska po angielsku

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