Angela Topping

Question 1

There are lasers on the penon
from where I sit, burnt, burning
through Douglas Adams. Some sort
of sign sought from kids in the pool,
or drunks on the boardwalk. Emerald green
against a brilliant Jade, marking space
between the rocks. And all I can do is hope
the wildcats don’t chase lasers like their
domestic counterparts, and reminisce
of my own cats, back at home. Where does
your mind travel to, when you’re far from
the comfort of your own bed?

– Aaron Kent

Answer 1

Perhaps I am a bird. Let’s say a sparrow.
I dive down a chimney or spurt
through a tall open window
circle round Italian galleries
mistaking the art for real landscapes.

Or perhaps I am a fish. Let’s say a carp.
I allow Danube’s waters to love through me,
conscious of little but survival.
I flick my tail fin and feel its power,
as I glitter in my chain mail.

I am a bee entering the tunnel of a foxglove,
burrowing into air turned pink and freckled.
I bathe in seas of lavender, my fur sticky
with pollen, prepare for the coming cold,
the winter clustering.

A bird again, this time a swallow
I fly high across continents
guided by magnetism or some other
dark force I have to follow,
my companions around me.

I am higher than tall towers;
deeper than oceans; lost
in the music of the spheres;
rooted in the secrets of the earth.
I am alive, in all my senses.

– Angela Topping

Question 2

My mind has been occupied with Frank’s cousin
and his mermaid. I heard wolves [or Wolves] in
the mix, while I don’t claim to see the future I
saw greatness in both record and recorded. If
I could sing, I’d scratch my poems onto the
inside of my lungs, find wings like yours and
bellow from parabronchi. How do you make
your poetry sing? I can’t even keep mine in
key.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 2

Rhythm is easy, iambic heartsong
slipsliding of trochees
complicated butter pats of anapests
being slapped into shape by grooved pine boards,
runaway train of dactyls clacking along
Scansion is the salve for grazes

but melody arises pianissimo, tentative
trying to find the right key, the phrase
that opens up the arc and soars
until each crotchet and quaver finds
where it belongs on the stave
and the cadence
moves on in inevitable flow
to a new beginning.

– Angela Topping

Question 3

I’m clinging onto the belief
that genius comes from working
with all of the lights on. POWER.
Creating a monster needs blood
on the leaves of paper. Do you
build your work on sight? Or
are you bound to other conventions?

– Aaron Kent

Answer 3

I buy the salted popcorn, bring a blanket
settle down in the best seats
to watch the movie with my inner eye.
Not just sight but a feely, smells and taste.
My mind’s eye is a quality cinema.

But most often, the poem comes
like a lover, to whisper in my ear
teasing phrases I can barely catch,
then runs away laughing.

I need all my skills to interpret
the other side of my brain, pin down
the wriggling, tantalising words.

– Angela Topping

The poetic interview with Angela Topping is still in progress. Keep checking back for more.