Alan Dixon

Alan Dixon first collection of poems was published in 1964. His fifth, The Hogweed Lass, will appear soon.

Poem: ‘Machines’

Alan Dixon, 7 March 1996

Know them by their machines, Machines of visiting friends, As they want to be known. Not beautiful, I think, But elegant, I suppose, She speaks if what I wear Respects her neighbourhood.

My wellingtons and spade Make me invisible; Having no shiny shell I take to camouflage. Sometimes card-backs displayed Like polished teeth show me How popular they must be.

Outside her house I see A slouchy...

Poem: ‘New Bike’

Alan Dixon, 18 August 1994

You didn’t expect Jackson Pollock flicked over the frame. (We imagine fun-crusted machines and their operatives’ Overalls standing as sturdy as pachyderms’ legs.) Take a dekko at this black bottle! A dynamo! That thing with a grid that looks a bit like a compound eye Isn’t a reflector. Yes, bikes always had an insect look. Picabia rode a wheel-winged insect, though I...

Poem: ‘Jean Cocteau’

Alan Dixon, 19 November 1992

Scruffy cyclist in black track shorts with shammy-leather internal arse patch designed and executed by mother, I once saw Jean Cocteau.

Something was going on in a bank, or a place like that on the Riviera – I think it was Menton. We were inquisitive and looked through a narrow opening, and there he was, saying something to his muralist about shapes on the ceiling. Were they winged...

Poem: ‘Presentimento’

Alan Dixon, 5 December 1991

Think what a terrible waste nailed by the bed Of a spitting hag, bride long ago, once fat, Or pinned next to a feather on her greasy hat This flat, black, sun-dried, and, through lack of a drenching, dead Bridleway toad would be! But O so chic It would be sure to look hung round the neck On a silver chain easy enough to thread In that clean nail-hole knocked right through the head! Just...

Two Poems

Alan Dixon, 29 August 1991

Little Blotter to her Master, and his Reply

It is sad in the grave my master, my chosen Who fed me and stroked me and clicked on the fire, And though you tried to make me comfortable And laid me down gently, wrapped in a towel, And dropped in forget-me-nots and daisies – Day’s eyes for mine, to die here with me – It is sad to think I must lie here forever.

So I beg you,...

Advice for the New Nineties

Julian Symons, 12 March 1992

Every poetic rebellion hardens sooner or later into an ossification of style and language and needs replacement by something at the time believed to be its opposite. In the 20th century it has...

Read More

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences