Where new writing finds its voice

Nude II

Ross Sutherland

House DJs always keep their hair short 
so their heads can be easily cut from press shots, 
then dropped onto fluorescent posters

and a thousand other reasons to be clean-cut and rhythmical
to drip dry after the morning shower
when our signal-to-noise ratio is at its peak.

A teacher once told me that poetry aspires 
to the simplicity of the nude.
To be naked, he said, was to speak without footnotes.

Though, in my opinion, a naked person
usually has more explaining to do than anyone.

I am sitting on your toilet with my empty notepad. 
You are drying your fake tan with a hairdryer,

Talking to me through the bathroom mirror,
Asking if the back of you matches the front,

and I can’t even hazard a guess.

Your body is too much. London is too much.
I can barely connect two parts of it. 
The diagrams we use are useless upon the surface.

It’s in moments like this that I realise
How little my A to Z has to do with the alphabet,
Language collapsing into farce, fizzing with data 
like nudist beaches.

Which is why I write I am in love with your neck
Just like the maniac cuts bodies into pieces.