and the angels poured down floods of roses — Alasdair Gray

Angel interpellation, angel intangible, all surround 
Mallrat’s “Wish on an Eyelash” was playing candles at the birthday  evaporation of virus in a prior life. Imagine you’re living this trace  
on my cheek part 2, left this blue mascara curl on my iPhone, so 

You looked Ophelia in the bath, I wanted for you a chariot of  
perfect glass and so many unnameable flowers, so hot 

Angel Olsen wearing your name like a halo, Lark! it’s darker every  
hour in my beautiful overmind, you have to leave your dreams  
someday to see if they’ll find you 

Doing the messages in a powder blue prom dress, listening to  
Robbie Williams he’s standing in a crop circle on MTV, loving them  
instead, all satin, they’re playing this at the grocery store in my  

Girls with fallen dreams make better models, I’m told everything I  
already know by heart, you’ve gotta get bees to sting your lips, toxic,  
die for your beauty to die for
We call each other angels all the time now: an angel saved me at the  
airport, look at their arms, saving each other: my students call me  
angel but they are more angel: that stranger in Stereo said you have  
great hair, get married
You could say she gave great angel

In the mirror, posing with crimson roses  
her ruddy cheeks were a song
Abolishing tax heavens glitching the angels of Milton 
left the sting in 

The Angel of the North was trending
I gave away love to my pop impersonator, beautiful and in the  
public service, everything is threadbare 

caressing perfect burnout 
a million angel eyes on me 
exhausting my tear stock
Thinking about Harmony Korine’s flying nuns in the brightest 
blue,  help me find them? 

Names of the angels: Gabriel, Raphael, Obtuse, Acute 

In “The Fallen Angel of the Senses”, Anne Boyer says ‘Angels leave  
no artefacts and no archives’
Soft guitar covering the sound of our fade
Sending messages of innocence all the time, you never knew how  
much you meant to us, it’s impossibly slow your strange heart in the  
sky how many times a day 

into you into you into you 

the cables throb with our longing

Always too high to come 
down I do not own the rights 

Maria Sledmere, Glasgow Review of Books, Old Hairdressers Glasgow, 5th July 2023

Solar Wind

To nurture, to sift from harm, to experience aura as the placid gel of 
new thought, to be unsure of its origin, to hear the swifts, to be  
again, prenascent, safe from harm, to court the fellow elements, to  
sip lemonade, to evaporate, to love or beam, to mean it, to unleash  
from the carceral that sense of bearing, to bear a trade juice of fossil  
for solar, to ship, to wager, to ride a novel form, to ride, to inflame,  
to love passionately what carries you, to bare content, to transact  
with less carbon expenditure, to study the alveolar lacunar, to love in  
general, to get a pedicure, to be on the knife edge, to burn our lungs, 
to loosen harm as in sand, to take medical advice from mystics, to  
subject the limbs to heat, to make glass of our harm, to look in the 
mirror of the glass of harm, O bright carbuncular eye, to see other 
roadside skeletons, to banish dysmorphia from planets, to loosen 
from image another light, to continue the dialogue, to issue a  
statement, to live in irreversible moments, to be warming, to salivate
anxiety, to leave winter on read, to ghost fall, bring synecdoche to  
the pious particles, to be the primary care provider of the first 
disaster, to absorb, to join the panel, to waterproof the music of your  
dreams, to gloss, to shuffle, to spill, to buff, to cite quietly, to  
stereotype dust, to be dysfunctional, to spiralise nightly, to snack on  
the pageantry of hail, to apply for oceans, to set fire to the sea,  
literally, to be a symbol, saintlike, to dip-dye your rays, to try, to  
essay a shadow, to orbit the famous system, to annihilate in  
psytrance, to manage the undigest of all matter, to catch static, to eat  
trillionaires in sleep, to be any star falling awake inside you, to order 
acres of the internet 

Solar Receiver

I never travel lightly, am always light years away from being  
singular, afraid of the coolness of Neptune opulence 
of  impermanence to exist in glossolalic time. As in, you texting me  
back from the Styrofoam grail was coming apart as love, pushing
my phone to the atmospheric Faultline, hoping–—to imitate the  
trees as  
 – –– beautifully –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– 
–– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– – 
                                                       –– –––– –– –– –––– – 
– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– ––
                           –––– ––––– –––– –––– 
–the mellifluous silence you left was judicial and not for nothing–
– a gentle ipecac – – – – straining oesophageal verse – – – – –– –– ––
–– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– – I felt rainbow  
in the sultry middle of Hades –– –– 
–– –––– –––– –––– –– imperilled with helium, methane
–– sidereal rotation of lovers you take easy hours to sleep –– more  
than any aria of words –– –– desserts –– –– –– –– 
let me slip 2.8 billion miles from this place we started –– – –– –– 
blue-skied an’ clear with all water above a small 
rocky core –– –––– –––– –––– –––– –––– –– it is beautiful  
– to know you –– –– one of many ice giants inside us –– –– 
the sun goes down –– –––– –––– –––– –––– –––– –––– –––– –– 
goes down on you –– –––– –––– ––––nothing could  
ever be lonesome again –– –– the densest mass of them all 
in depth –– –– –– –– high noon would seem a dim twilight 
–– –– your eyes exactly as stars–––––in the oxygen lattice 
exposés of diamond hail –– –– in silicate wounding — –– –– –– 
I’ll never leave these blues –– we miss you every minute –– – ––– – – 
ultraviolet tonguing capacity – –– – ––– – –– ––– –– ––– – –– ––– – 
–– — the farthest known ––

Photo credit: Andrew McKenna

Click here to read Ricky Monahan Brown’s review of Maria’s new collection, An Aura of Plasma Around the Sun.

About the author

Maria Sledmere is the author of over twenty books of poetry, including An Aura of Plasma Around the Sun (Hem Press, 2023) Cocoa and Nothing – with Colin Herd (SPAM Press, 2023), Visions & Feed (HVTN Press, 2022), String Feeling (Erotoplasty Editions, 2022) and The Luna Erratum (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2021) – which was shortlisted for the Saltire Society’s Scottish Poetry Book of the Year 2022. She recently co-edited The Last Song: Words for Frightened Rabbit (Broken Sleep Books) with Aaron Kent. She is a Lecturer at the University of Strathclyde, a member of A+E Collective and editor-in-chief of SPAM Press.

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The Glasgow Review of Books (ISSN 2053-0560) is a review journal publishing short and long reviews, review essays and interviews, as well as translations, fiction, poetry, and visual art. We are interested in all forms of cultural practice and seek to incorporate more marginal, peripheral or neglected forms into our debates and discussions. We aim to foster discussion of work from small and specialised publishers and practitioners, and to maintain a focus on issues in and about translation. The review has a determinedly international approach, but is also a proud resident of Glasgow.

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