Against Conceit

By Roddy Lumsden b. 1966 Roddy Lumsden
Don't say Sir Pigeon in his cobalt bonnet.
Don't find among your notes
jottings on duvets and blizzards and the page   

unwalked across               black missives of girlhood
must be sent off and do not claim the furnace   
of the universe is powered by human screams.

When the dark turns dark
or when the bullet lifts a scalp,
it is enough to know the lover feels the slap

that the world can hear the sharp shout   
               which wakes the cat
her claws one inch from the rabbit's bobbing scut.

Source: Poetry (June 2008).


This poem originally appeared in the June 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

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June 2008
 Roddy  Lumsden


Roddy Lumsden was born in St. Andrews, Scotland; he describes his upbringing as small-town and working-class. His earliest exposure to literature came from his mother and older brother, who would read aloud to him when he was a child. Later, when he attended school, his writing was influenced by the works of W.S. Graham, Philip Larkin, Thom Gunn, T.S. Eliot, and Sylvia Plath, and by song lyrics.

His work is marked by an . . .

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