KEN EVANS gained a Distinction in his Poetry Master’s at Manchester University’s Centre for New Writing. The poems featured below will shortly appear in his debut pamphlet, ‘The Opposite of Defeat’ (Eyewear), publication in Autumn 2016. Ken’s work was longlisted in the UK Poetry Society’s National Competition; highly-commended in the Bridport  Prize and shortlisted in the Troubadour Competition, all in 2015. His draft debut collection was also shortlisted in both Bare Fiction’s awards and in the Poetry School/Nine Arches ‘Primers’ selection this autumn. Individual poems have featured in The Interpreter’s House, Obsessed with Pipework,  Envoi, and Ink. Sweat & Tears.


The Kidney Consultant’s Hairclip

Her hair secured by a brown clip,
not a strand 
left behind. I notice every
blemish of pink, each mole on her skin.
I depend on her choice of perfume,
her discreet jewellery. I examine her eyes
for signs: no problems at home
with partners. Her children, blameless,
will yet have a say in this, her grip, her weft.
Let her display a cruelty of resolve,
an insolence of skills, the odds-calling eye
of a croupier; grant her a surfeit of conviction.
She mouths my history to her clinical assistant,
tiny white down on her throat vibrating
as she discounts the conditions I don’t have:
lung, heart and liver functions. She knows
I’m eyeing her for a sign of omnipotence,
that I’ve found it below the left ear at the pulse
on her neck. Her lips serve notice we’re
serious: theatre. Long nights studying
to make this perfect.



In Zero Gravity

If ever you are sucked out into space
by an ill-judged partnership, a scheming
co-worker, the belligerent family member,
you’ll know what love spurned
feels like: your eyes bulge but cannot
shed tears, out beyond the troposphere.
The moisture on your tongue boils, blood
does not flow. You lose what’s down
or up, the cognisance of arms and legs,
vacuum-sealed in the cellophane of space.
Though quick to die, unlike your bête-noire
you do not decompose but, mummified,
act your age, beautifully.



Forest Edge

My fire blows smoke
holes in a tide
of green as an elk
strides, stiff-legged
from meditation, through
my newly-pitched camp.
Even the woodpecker
is tying up business
for the evening.
I scrub a cooking-billy
which slips my fingers
and dinks rocks,
a coppering echo.
The elk turns to the sound,
sniffs nothing untoward,
ambles on.
The forest discriminates
by its silence.
A vapour-trail dragging
a banner of dusk
across the sky
advertises nothing special:
I am on the edge of it.


If you wish to read the poems in page view, the following link will take you to a PDF – Ken Evans Poems

All works published by the Glasgow Review of Books are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License and the journal reserves the right to be named as place of first publication in any citation. Copyright remains with the poet.

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The Glasgow Review of Books (ISSN 2053-0560) is an online journal which publishes critical reviews, essays and interviews as well as writing on translation. We accept work in any of the languages of Scotland – English, Gàidhlig and Scots.

We aim to be an accessible, non-partisan community platform for writers from Glasgow and elsewhere. We are interested in many different kinds of writing, though we tend to lean towards more marginal, peripheral or neglected writers and their work. 

Though, our main focus is to fill the gap for careful, considered critical writing, we also publish original creative work, mostly short fiction, poetry and hybrid/visual forms. 

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