:: Article

Kleinsong & other poems

By Annie Katchinska.


the realisation of all this hate
for you makes me feel like
a block of wood presses me
down to a scrawny spitmouth
can’t believe the milk of you
as revelations drop like heavy
coins mucky mother makes
a girl but remember when
oil was separate from water,
I liked, liked it better, felt like
the maker, when I wanted
the good moon came, the
bad moon rotted and sank
when I wanted, reliable
sky full of nothing but
milk and never before
to contend with this Dis-
inside me/good moon’s
smirk bad moon’s glow/
a knocking to bite to spoil
this puckering skin of the
sky because actually you’re
a muddied one guiltily bitten
aren’t, aren’t you in cinema
orchestra   can’t stop you
slide into every persons fill
out their faces with cruelty
and milk, was I ever your
daughter crammed as you
are with toothy wriggling
baby sisters how can I
stand it how   can   I   go
on   without   this to wrap
my teething self around,
must’ve hacked you good/
bad in half and now what
can I holding the pieces
together what can I kill
off a sullied parent what
can I hurt with these
sharp gums


It’s like It’s like this Like a girl who won’t Like a girl switching lights on/off with her elbow Not able to type To wash To pick up those dropped frozen peaches Like this I could say I could search for it At Finchley Rd she’s a crumbly wafer and can’t admit Though they all want to hear Though only if useful Though hands smeared with ink are ugly, unsafe She clicks in the cold But I don’t know how else

It’s like Bellowing Bellowing worship songs over the mouldy sink again or writing not going to write
in here for a while
None of this is defence or release With Finchley Road’s bully arrhythmia telling me Myth has some very cruel baggage Observing You were just lonely that’s all Yanking up the sour facts These petulant nerve endings ready to snap You come across as anxious and it’s a real shame

I dream my old leader orchestrating group hugs Group hug everyone she says But I have this This osteopetrosis Or arms stuck straight out and any moment limbs could cringe and slip Look at you
she chimes What’s the matter
Their voices ring in the air and chime They chime the story better
than me And meanwhile the rainbow above us so heavy, swollen and juicy Will it Will it burst

Can I push the North Circular gently down my throat like a grey ribbon I think that would make this OK, would make Brent Cross bearable Can I smother all this Can I chop up this feeling like a block of butter Can I chop it into cubes and melt the cubes into a stew she would scoop up with a spoon and say I think you have some things to process It’s a shame Can I chop this feeling like a bad onion

It’s like It’s just like To be congruent with you would be like slowly turning warmer saying Look at all these rituals Aren’t we so childlike Nothing in my gut but warmth and a little acidic sloshing It’s fine My red fingertips You all come closer Let me be useful Can I contribute I promise you all of it All of it happened Now stay with this feeling What’s it trying to say What does it need Contain us forever


Twenty new bodies
wings taped down
labelled power, healer,
feather, noisemaker, beak-
snap and snap
and start over,
nineteen new bodies,
he made them grubby but clear-eyed,
he fans out their wings
on cotton,
bone pinned down,
slips back out for the eggs but dawn’s
spilling out soon all squawk
and shock –
the rest of them hop
from foot to foot – not so
easy to catch
or love – they sniff
the air – the flakes of him
left on bark –
the trees he brushed
against to get to them –
his elbows
so easy to peck
and fray – his lips
so good to snatch for a nest,
for a hole but they won’t,
he’ll get there first –
a boy on the left side
a girl on the right
and three more: the hated
muscular ones,
he dunks them in liquid,
writes brisk brittle comments
on stomachs and prideful beaks
or question marks
or a dash
and he finds himself pressing them
flat on the sheets,
only their eyes pop up
and his hand jogs, he labels each one
with What     can     I     make
them     do     all     day

Annie Katchinska was born in Moscow in 1990 and grew up in London. After graduating from university she spent two years living and working in Sapporo, Japan, before returning to London in 2013, where she is now working towards a diploma in child counselling. She was a Faber New Poet in 2010.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Wednesday, February 8th, 2017.