stdClass Object
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    [ID] => 20691
    [post_author] => 23
    [post_date] => 2020-03-04 15:43:47
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-04 15:43:47
    [post_content] => After ‘The Photo in the Locket (For Louise)’ by Jackie Kay

i
There are things I don’t tell her
private things, words eaten
in sleeping bookshelves,
a waitress watering plastic flowers.
My new friends speak fast
write less often; they come over
and strip the sheets,
leave the house bare. We smile
and eat alone
rushing through stages of life
in torpor. In a film
they carried powdered
sugar in urns like ashes and
I stopped having sugar cubes.
I’m forgetting things. Sooner or later J-’s adam’s apple began to
bob at his shirt. Once I bought an egg that was not
all yolk; I cried in the laundry machine.

ii
I’m ashamed I haven’t kept this.
I dream of dressing moments up absurdly
in silk and crimson; but I search in
circles for the bus and keep missing it; the street
stained yellow. Really, I want to show
hummingbirds flickering in and out of view
sipping sweet sugar-water ambrosia and
swooning, not when I ran into shallow water
and was submerged. Maybe I could say the clouds rippled.

iii
I want to have some physical remembrance;
a black and white orange carved
the shape of my grandmother
an ode to my grandfather’s depression
his rage engraved in a cherry pit.
I forget things. Sometimes I see
the steps to the old house shining
like a clavicle, green buzzing like
white noise.

iv
In the locket I’m in the waiting room again.
It smells of instant coffee and printer
paper and the stairs keep stretching further
upwards. The doctor congratulates me
on my recovery and the stairs. The room
only has two walls. He’s trying to release me
but the file has been
forgotten, the papers
mixed up.
    [post_title] => The Poem in the Locket
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    [post_modified] => 2020-12-04 12:27:54
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-12-04 12:27:54
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    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://poems.poetrysociety.org.uk/?post_type=poems&p=20691
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            [wpcf-published-in] => 
            [wpcf-date-published] => 2020
            [wpcf-summary-description] => This poem is the first-prize winner of the first Bloodaxe Archive challenge on Young Poets Network, The Poetics of the Archive. This was part of a series of writing challenges asking young poets worldwide to respond to the digital Bloodaxe Archive.

Natalie comments on how she used the Bloodaxe Archive to write this poem: "In the Bloodaxe Archive I searched for a selection of words: ‘black white photo’, as I was interested in trying to look at an artefact (within the artefact of the poem in the archive!) Through this I came across many wonderful poems, but I particularly was struck by the transcript copy of Jackie Kay’s ‘The Adoption Papers’. Her poem ‘The Photo in the Locket (For Louise)’ is an incredibly powerful testament to the significance of a single object for family, identity and experience. The poem inspired me to write a poem about a poem: with a poem in a locket. I integrated many of Kay’s own phrases and first-person authenticity of voice, with the same opening and ending lines: ‘These are the things I don't tell her’ and ‘mixed up’. While trying to explore the object, an ‘ideal’ poem, or the poem I need to write but haven’t, I tried to focus on my own experience and identity as Kay does in the poem, and to mirror her pacing and the build-up of the poem, but change the poem’s structure. The Bloodaxe archive allowed me to search and locate a very specific set of poems, yet all were different and used the words in very different ways."
            [wpcf-rights-information] => 
            [wpcf-poem-award] => 1st prize, Bloodaxe Archive challenge #1
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    [poet_data] => stdClass Object
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            [ID] => 18437
            [forename] => 
            [surname] => 
            [title] => Natalie Perman
            [slug] => natalie-perman
            [content] => A top 15 winner of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2017 and commended in the 2018 Award, Natalie is also the first-prize winner in the Civilisation and Its Discontents challenge on Young Poets Network, inspired by Freud's work of the same name; and the first-prize winner in the first Bloodaxe Archive challenge, The Poetics of the Archive.

She is additionally the third-prize winner in the Thinking Outside the Penalty Box challenge; commended in Gboyega Odubanjo's People Need Nature challenge; commended in Ankita Saxena’s protest poetry challenge, remembering 100 years of the women’s vote in the UK; and commended in the tree poetry challenge.
        )

)
stdClass Object
(
    [ID] => 18437
    [forename] => 
    [surname] => 
    [title] => Natalie Perman
    [slug] => natalie-perman
    [content] => A top 15 winner of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2017 and commended in the 2018 Award, Natalie is also the first-prize winner in the Civilisation and Its Discontents challenge on Young Poets Network, inspired by Freud's work of the same name; and the first-prize winner in the first Bloodaxe Archive challenge, The Poetics of the Archive.

She is additionally the third-prize winner in the Thinking Outside the Penalty Box challenge; commended in Gboyega Odubanjo's People Need Nature challenge; commended in Ankita Saxena’s protest poetry challenge, remembering 100 years of the women’s vote in the UK; and commended in the tree poetry challenge.
)

The Poem in the Locket

Natalie Perman

After ‘The Photo in the Locket (For Louise)’ by Jackie Kay

i
There are things I don’t tell her
private things, words eaten
in sleeping bookshelves,
a waitress watering plastic flowers.
My new friends speak fast
write less often; they come over
and strip the sheets,
leave the house bare. We smile
and eat alone
rushing through stages of life
in torpor. In a film
they carried powdered
sugar in urns like ashes and
I stopped having sugar cubes.
I’m forgetting things. Sooner or later J-’s adam’s apple began to
bob at his shirt. Once I bought an egg that was not
all yolk; I cried in the laundry machine.

ii
I’m ashamed I haven’t kept this.
I dream of dressing moments up absurdly
in silk and crimson; but I search in
circles for the bus and keep missing it; the street
stained yellow. Really, I want to show
hummingbirds flickering in and out of view
sipping sweet sugar-water ambrosia and
swooning, not when I ran into shallow water
and was submerged. Maybe I could say the clouds rippled.

iii
I want to have some physical remembrance;
a black and white orange carved
the shape of my grandmother
an ode to my grandfather’s depression
his rage engraved in a cherry pit.
I forget things. Sometimes I see
the steps to the old house shining
like a clavicle, green buzzing like
white noise.

iv
In the locket I’m in the waiting room again.
It smells of instant coffee and printer
paper and the stairs keep stretching further
upwards. The doctor congratulates me
on my recovery and the stairs. The room
only has two walls. He’s trying to release me
but the file has been
forgotten, the papers
mixed up.