Recently, thanks to a very helpful librarian called Emily, we were listed on the Scottish Poetry Library's 'Collections' page – an excellent resource for both poetry readers and writers. Similar listings with the Southbank Centre and Poetry Ireland have followed (thank you to both Lorraine and Elizabeth!) These listings will hopefully help to spread the word about The Crunch a little further, and we really appreciate the time spent by these very busy people to add us to their websites. Please do check them out – all three organisations do a lot of good work in the name of poetry.
A by-product of these listings is that we're now eligible to nominate three poems for The Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. Exciting times! The deadline for nominations is the end of this week, with the prize awarded at a ceremony in London on 21 September 2017. We've just posted off our nominations – here are our chosen three:
An Amateur's Guide to Astronomy
Tonight is hysterical with stars.
Light and memory: both
needle through from the past.
In this bay, we were equally
combustible. One lunatic electron
is enough to ignite bodies.
I remember you in charted galaxies.
Andromeda's arms. Your hands
on my waist; the startled
particles between. Gravity.
When you pulled me into the February
sea, we were nebulous. Light
and memory. Constellations
apart, we scuttle our feet
under different waves.
How to tease the sea
from the moon's leash?
The Crunch Issue #3
I stand in the bedroom, sweatless.
I admit to the dagger,
the rage and the kids
who looked like you; had the eye
of the cool Aegean
with Argonaut bravado
and a traitor’s blood.
Our babies. I nursed them
with love and a knife
to save them from sins like you—
our lullabied young.
Like you, they were forked in the tongue.
But I was once young,
a charming girl, head over claws
in love with you--
as any good angel, my Colchis light
bleaching a brother’s bones.
You could say I became obsessed.
I had you possessed
but Corinth tore us apart.
Still, I can’t resist revenge,
death knell shaking the house
to its dead foundations,
the children’s gasping surprise;
oh, the look in your eyes
when you found them, coiled
like little white worms
or the curl of a gorgon’s hair.
She may be princess
but I am a queen,
with blood in my breasts
and a glint in my milkwhite eye.
Revenge is a kick in the womb.
Natalie Ann Holborow
The Crunch Issue #4
The merry-go-round played out with grim enthusiasm as we passed by,
the skirt of our black umbrella angled against the wind.
We were the only people walking the promenade of empty chain restaurants
devoid of charm.
Latin music piped out through crummy speakers,
a delusion of a summer holiday somewhere hot,
somewhere not here.
Yet the chairs stacked up against the walls dripped with rain
and we huddled together to keep warm.
I bought you chips to eat in the salted sea air,
vinegared with a sharp gull’s cry,
and from the jetty we watched tourists venture out onto the platform,
take a photo, clouded by the dark sky,
and scuttle away like insects,
enduring little of the chilly British weather.
In the distance the merry-go-round played
but still did not turn.
That night we drank the world and rolled heavily into bed,
murmured of making babies between things unsaid.
The Crunch Issue #5
The winner of The Forward Prize for Best Single Poem receives £1000, with all other poems nominated also considered for an anthology of the year's best poetry. Good luck to Alan, Natalie and Rebecca!