By Roddy Lumsden b. 1966 Roddy Lumsden
A word you can’t quite say
without itching, flinching; it’s not easy
to ignore its squirming appetite, stay
your primal juddering. And yes, at
night, each microbe gurns in the salty sea
of gut and gullet, born again, boldly eats
as you ate it, brews its own queasy tea
of proto-raunch which it will quickly sate,
birthing wanderlusting vigors, as yet
unknown to microscience. They sashay, set
out for the toes or gape through your eyes at
your drooping lids, your fat bunch of keys, at
this internal motel’s boss, bellhop, lackey, sat
in the throne of his slumber, a mercy seat.

Source: Poetry (April 2011).


This poem originally appeared in the April 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2011
 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.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Body, Activities, Eating & Drinking


Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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