When The City Speaks

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When The City Speaks

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It is no small place

this devil’s field

where the leopard’s blood

runs through the streets

like a constellation

cut from the sky.

Drunkards, drug pushers,

the cold amoebas that

die without seeing a dawn.

In Chinatown, the spell is

set loose, splitting

the sun with fury.

Waxen murderers,

a barnyard of devourers. And

inside, lovers tremble,

clutched tight together

-arms, elbows, lips-

sensual and desperate,

anaesthetized by passion,

by common fear, away

from the cruel madness

that pounds & pursues

just outside the door,

where all

will never be well

or free.

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Copyright © 1991 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “Journal of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry” #3. The magazine is now called “The Journal”, 1993

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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Somewhere Falling has a richness of imagery and an intensity of emotion rare in contemporary poetry. Drawn in sharp outlines of light and darkness, and rich shades of colour, with a deep sense of loss and longing and the possibility of salvation, this is an unusual book by a gifted young poet. Grayhurst’s voice is one to which we should continue to pay attention.” — Maggie Helwig, author of Apocalypse Jazz and Eating Glass.

“Responsibility and passion don’t often go together, especially in the work of a young poet. Allison Grayhurst combines them in audacious ways. Somewhere Falling is a grave, yet sensuous book.” – Mark Abley, author of Glasburyon and Blue Sand, Blue Moon.

“Biting into the clouds and bones of desire and devotion, love and grief, Allison Grayhurst basks the reader, with breathtaking eloquence, in an elixir of words. Like lace, the elegance is revealed by what isn’t said. This is stunning poetry.” – Angela Hryniuk, author of no visual scars.

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