The Bricklayer’s Lament
The mixer span on its own orbit
the day after she left. He laid
cement on the trowel, detesting
the horizon as the wall crept up,
killing chances of junk mail
and evangelists. Anger
snapped in his wrists
as he spread the sighing glue,
inventing the wall, tall as pain.
It shrank the world, obscuring
other lives with twenty two lines
of perfect red rectangles that said no.
He retreated, felt the border’s shadow
loom against his back. The night was cool,
the rooms darker than before
as the radio hummed about hearts.
By afternoon he was itching at the quiet,
wanted a paper, a pint of milk,
chat containing eyes. Sighing, he grabbed
the hammer. A section of wall surrendered.
He stared at four bricks, saw
how they’d been tattooed from outside
with a chalky heart and arrow.
He left the house and looked for skies.
Miles Cain is a York-based writer, musician and storyteller. He's organised York Literature Festival, written for the BBC and won prizes for his poems. A debut collection, The Border, is about to be published by Scarborough publisher Valley Press. 'I love Carol Ann Duffy, Simon Armitage, Philip Larkin and Matthew Sweeney,' says Miles, whose work has appeared in Aesthetica, Beautiful Scruffiness, Current Accounts, Dreamcatcher,
Frogmore Papers, Obsessed With Pipework, Orbis, South Bank Poetry and more. 'The Border started out as something more cheeky humorous,' he says, 'but eventually became a set of poems that were a little darker. I've worked as a youth worker and writer in residence in a prison, and there's a lot of urban paranoia in the collection.' The Border is an unsettling but commanding read. Often the poems tell miniature stories and have surreal touches as Miles muses on technology, relationships and the power of music. Find out more at Miles's website and visit Valley Press to order a copy of the book.
Miles will be reading poems from The Border and playing a selection of songs at the following gigs in Autumn 2011:
September 22nd – Scarborough Library : Valley Press evening, starts at 6p.m.
October 1st – Book launch at City Screen, York, 8pm. £7, includes copy of The Border
October 5th - Fresh Ink, Upstairs at Hartley's, Newland Avenue, Hull starts at 7.30pm
Wednesday 12th - Leeds Trinity University College
Thursday October 13th – Thursday Night Live, Hull starts at 7.30 pm
Thursday October 27th – Brighouse Library, Readers' and Writers' Festival, Calderdale, starts at 7.30p.m
Friday October 28th - Sentinel Literature Festival, London
Sat 29th October - Pocktoberfest, Pocklington Arts Centre
Tuesday November 8th - Grafton Acoustic, Newland Avenue, Hull from 8p.m
Thursday November 17th - Simply Books, Pocklington at 7.30 p.m. Tickets £8 includes copy of the book