:: Article

Three Poems

By Annie Katchinska.

Fruit machine

Restless, I am.
I whir
pinned in my bulk humming,
only a black plastic leash
running into me, steady steady
feeding its energies —
I close my eyes, wait, feel
the fizz of that. But right there, a woman
glowing, silked in herself
who can stand with a cold drink and crackle
I want as she sips. And see —
the man who bawls JACOB, MY NAME
IS JACOB to the other soggy faces —
he’s a staggerman, a crumpleman, a little
dribblespittleman, I taste him
on the inside of my cheek.
These pickings. The curve of shoulder, waist,
the slack workshirts, she calls Jacob a dickhead
with a ball of red tongue.
Always this pulp.
Meanwhile forever my hard cubic torso —
oh, scour me clean with your kiddyfists
before the lights thud dark
and the moon spills
like money
when I can’t lift my dead eyes to look.


Panic Attack

“Here we go” the wiry woman said
opening the door to the insect circus —
this is the place where beetles tremble in autumn
whirring round on sugary nickel hoops

Girls bare furry teeth
and wind up ladybirds on tightropes for me,
a bluebottle towers by a trapdoor, and hums
In a corner marked CLOWNS
they’re feeding a fat mouth candyfloss
There’s a glow worm in a box
There are fleas of glitter stuck round a mirror
where you can see my hands, with a dirty flying ant
battling my breath’s
clumsy cartwheels

I stagger to the trapdoor
and its delicate sign
Please touch the bluebottle gently


He’s a Serious Actor Now

My eyes hurt from three hours of his wide elastic face.
Call the night sour mauve
or film-set still;
the lamp-lights dribble lemon juice,
our boyfriends pick salt popcorn from their teeth.


Annie Katchinska was born in Moscow in 1990 and has lived in London for most of her life. She started writing poetry when she was fifteen, and in 2006 and 2007 was one of the fifteen Foyle Young Poets of the Year. She came second in the Christopher Tower Poetry Competition in 2007, has had poems published in Magma and Mimesis, and has performed at the London Poetry Café’s New Blood night.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Sunday, September 26th, 2010.