Sunday, 24 April 2011

The Suitable Girl by Michelle McGrane

The Suitable Girl is Michelle McGrane's third poetry collection, and is published by Modjaji Books.

As Ian Duhig says, the collection shows "a sophisticated range of reference together with a powerful and moving emotional address. There is great technical range here which includes prose poems alongside sinewy lyrics;elegy jostles with imaginative sci-fi, humour with horror in language which is often gorgeous as it is precise."

Two of the poems are:

The Recalcitrant Muse

Sunlight blisters through moth-eaten curtains.
In her mildewed apartment high above the city,
the Muse stumbles out of bed, stubs her toe
in the kitchen as she fumbles for a cigarette,
reheats last night's coffee and loneliness,
gulps it down dark, bitter, thick with grounds
that refuse to dissolve her tongue's furred lining.

She is late for the morning's first appointment
with a middle-aged divorcee at 52 East Avenue.
It's not all it's cracked up to be, this muse business.
She's tired of being aloof, untouchable.
Give me strong hands, warm flesh, a hairy chest,
a plunging prick, fucking on the formica table.
She could use a drink. A few hours' sleep.
Immortality doesn't pay the bills.

Gallows Bird

St George's channel
through the Dover Strait,
I sailed up the Thames
towards Greenwich.

I'd heard talk
they hanged rovers,
dangled them in cages
at Wapping Stairs.

When the prow nosed
around Blackwall Point,
I saw myself,

bones picked clean,
starlings nesting
in my ribcage.

The Suitable Girl, ISBN: 978-1-920397-26-5, is available for R135 from Modjaji Books.

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