Love Poem, with Obsolete Technology
the round drag of days,
the sliding feed of paper
round the cylinder, under the bar,
the bar like a horizon,
the paper like the sea.
The rubber stamp’s stamp,
the wrapping in brown paper
of precious weight
secured with string,
with thumb-pulled knots.
The circle of the postmark,
of the watchface,
of the dial.
The watermark’s grave echo.
This photograph in a frame, on a desk
will stabilise, set free.
against a backdrop of the sea.
But once I have written you down,
you will pose, eyes heavenward,
like a matinee idol,
publishing your smiles.
My poem of you
will create artificial conditions
as if for a fish to live
outside water, stretching breath
in raw air.
The small machines of words
will cut your perfect shape: you will look up,
right at me
not like one long gone, not like one
failing to be delivered,
leaving no mark.
Claudia Jessop lives in Hackney with her husband, son and daughter. She works in a library, runs poetry and reading groups for children, and conducts research into local history. Some of her articles have been published on the Hackney Society's website.
This year Cinnamon Press published her second collection, Looking For. Her first collection, also from Cinnamon, was This is the Woman Who (2009). She has published poetry in several magazines and has had poems and short stories placed in several competitions. You can hear her reading one of her poems at the Poetry Magazines website.
I'm very much looking forward to reading Claudia's new poetry collection, and couldn't resist posting a photo of the beautiful cover, which, I think, works very well with Claudia's beautiful poetry: