John Welch

John Welch lives in London. The Eastern Boroughs appeared in 2004.

Poem: ‘Star Fish’

John Welch, 25 January 2007

Language the contract Between self and nothing When bending to earth it Exchanges the sky for words

Out walking on that Uncertain estuary border Where we found the beached conger – It was starting to swell

And gull-flight lifting over Ocean pectoral surge – I walked there a neighbour To that small ancient heart

Tracing the shallow architecture Text an invisible lintel Being lifted...

Poem: ‘Beached’

John Welch, 30 November 2006

This man, this other

Whom brilliance of sunlight almost drowns –

He is a dark blur

Out on the beach inspecting stones.

So does he come

Foolish like this each day to stare

Drawn to an edge where there is no more edge?

Something there is wears out

As if a single look of mine might drown

That figure draped in sunlight

Till given a slight lilt

It disappears and goes inside

And I had wanted...

Diary: My Analysis

John Welch, 2 September 1999

It is now over a year since my analysis came to an end. I had decided almost at the very beginning that I wanted to write about it and one thing I am still trying to work out is the way this affected the analysis itself. The analyst was dubious about the ‘journal’ I referred to from time to time: was I putting things in there rather than bringing them to him? Once or twice early on, like a schoolboy anxious to show he has done his homework, I even tried to read bits of it in the session. A further complication is that the analysis does not simply come to an end but goes on working its way through one’s system, and when one tries to pull the thing together one feels it slipping off in all directions, making the temptation to reduce it to an all too neat narrative considerable. But at least I had a convenient starting point, which was what happened to me nearly forty years ago, after I came back from a year in Pakistan.‘

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