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The White Camellia£8.99
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Seaside theatre, end of season
After 'Untitled (Living Sculpture)' by Merisa Merz
To the front of the dim stage
the caretaker comes, metallic knees
in protest against the years,
watched only by a wire hanging
from an unmanned gantry.
In a dressing room he found The Tin Man
thrown over a stool,
pearly face-paint abandoned near a fly-specked glass.
The tin caretaker sings until the place
is filled with echoes, until it's time
to lock the doors and post the key back through.
He sings to a painted sky he cannot see, but knows is there.
All the while this emptiness in his chest,
where his heart used to be.
It's absence, like rust,
holding the shape of that which is lost.
Vanessa Gebbie's first anthology prose publication was in the Honno's Safe World Gone (Ed Janet Thomas and Patricia Duncker, 2007).
Her poem Immensi tremor oceani won the 2013 Troubadour Prize. That and other poems first published in Envoi, Abridged, Ink, Sweat and Tears and the Ver Poets prize-winners anthology appear in her debut pamphlet The Half-life of Fathers (Pighog) - reviewed here by The Inflectionist: http://theinflectionist.com/2014/01/12/vanessa-gebbie-the-half-life-of-fathers-a-poetry-review/. She is also author of two collections of short fiction (Salt Publishing 2008/10), a novel (Bloomsbury 2011), and is contributing editor of the text book Short Circuit: Guide to the Art of the Short Story (Editions 1 and 2, Salt 2009/13). www.vanessagebbie.com @vanessagebbie