Naomi Weber: Fowl



The land is no woman
and the plough no man
a gun is not simply
loaded the ice
all expansive
genders stirred awake &
met the air again
the wounded doe
found the cry still
filling their mouth
where years were
falling into
great absence
sleep-walking into
the snowflakes
—our snowflakes—
were the last shapes of
our reaching
through rock & out,
in fractured persistence
with arms/ arms/ arms


It’s the swan’s world & we’re all just—

skirting small bodies
of water in skirts
and rough knees
in this year of our
ever-waning, bushfires
in the deep

weathers and clouds
and names for them

strokes towards
the bank, all rivers
towards everywhere

All gestures corrupt
& caring for teeth in
the blast furnace

was once river and
becomes the river
to chew
through grass

sinew, shell, fruit skin

A wage to blow the rim

To tell of rivers

Sniff through your

All matter a matter
of life in time
at last, carnations

Yowl of red
in the word’s red wing

Say something
to the comb I left behind

for a thousand years
corrupt as lizard skin
and scrubby islets

The error I solid made
in stone or clay
library records and

eyes blinked open
all tides bleeding in
corrupt as metal

caring for the fruit
in the bowl, greeting
you in my chest tin

from the stones
in my


from the stones

a full shoal in my
sparse lung


No island an island
No child an island
No woman an island
No bird an island
No meal an island
No minute an island
No mouse an island
No memory an island
No future an island
No island an island

Bones recede

Trees baring
out of rock

The long sweep
of a tuneless way back,
toward each other then

Curtains of flint
gills in a wide

Only ever wanted
to be soil, sand or
grey heart matter

Only ever wanted
to leave behind
guts in tender
a rot in my life’s

And birches screaming
upward from tarmac
to announce the

Yes leave that,
a message for the still
yellow air

Leave the park asleep
beneath the lamp light
where it smarts in its green
and will wake feeling

Please, only remember
I wanted a name

only ever wanted to be
a poet and a woman’s name

and much else

wanted at times to
start a household
with a chicken coop


Where’s my
long lost leg

the little duck
silent pads down
the marsh under the winter
noon &
is not so
Mm, my fronds!

marsh light
the last shelf
from the train– how
she is set
never lonely
held hands

Besides loam, in thickets
the beginning
of scent:
sentience— well look at that, little
duck, aunt duck
sister I no more knew
what to make

than I— I could tell you
where beginning
was, where fullness

out of
water eroded

women’s names:

We looked at what
was – loving, stung—

We grew the no
out like an exhale
carried on despite

What can that prove
except there
was beginning
raising up empty
arms to be given

away raising up empty
proof required
none we were told

Inclined in full time,
in cut

Could keep
I’m asking

No duck is asked anything
No Sue, a duck is no real
Lady no one is

anything but sparse
space between
branches, demarcation
of land now gone
in the marsh
lines smudgy
with gravel
and cold air

we’ve supplanted
air with everything,
moreish supplication &
the mice in the kitchen

The whole born out air
particulared and
marrowed, like always, granite
rushes dust

So quick

Come round
Come round
Come around

not long
in my large green
trousers effervescent

I will make for you
will make it—

How often I’ve thought
I could learn well not to startle
a chicken, but take her just softly
in arms/ my arms
and stroke her feathers the right way
and neither of us would then
fall off, be inclined to/

Fall off


Naomi Weber is the author of The Marriage of Daughters to the World and Each Other (forthcoming from Veer Press) and AND ALL OF A SUDDEN WE MISS EVERYONE (Sad/Face Press, 2018). She is from Jersey and lives in London.

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