Question & Answer 1 – George Elliott Clarke

Question 1

Hammering buttons at wireless speeds,
still shaking rainbow dreams from old
skulls, the bleeding had leapt into my
asthma and screamed mercy through my
retina.

O20.9

…and she was golden and glorious
and running to the accident and emergency
unit. Round ligament, deep pain, everything
I never saw in a parent. Ten St Day Road took
all of

my dreams and

my nightmares to the back garden and pressed
an excuse to my temporal lobe. Doors
never open when night has suffocated the
presence from our tender embraces. Have you
felt

the world

fall from its axis? It took me to the deepest
three line whips of fetal stethoscopes, where
heartbeats lie dormant, back turned, hopes fading,
gentle beats surfacing. These things happen, do

not panic.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 1
[Claire Clairemont’s (Ventriloquized) Response (circa 1852)]

On the Spanish Steps,
I scrunched up my skirts,
And down he went on his knees.
On the Spanish Steps,
I skipped up my skirts,
And down dropped he to his knees.
My sassy French tongue
Teased his to sweet hurts:
Oh, Keats sighed, “No,” but Byron begged, “Please!”

Nasty French kisses,
Then Turkish delights,
Brought his French tickler into play.
Tasty French kisses,
Like Turkish delights,
Brought his French tickler out to play.
His attempt at Greek—
Cunning linguist bites—
Had me stewing tongues in Sodomy.

Those days are long gone;
Bliss were my lessons;
But Keats is dead, Shelley too.
On the Spanish Steps,
I was no virgin;
Now Keats is dead, Shelley too.
I stuck Byron’s heart
In the tickler tin,
For our single offspring’s pickled in dew.

– George Elliott Clarke

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