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Susan Wicks

Susan Wicks has published five collections of poetry, two novels and a short memoir. De-iced is out now.

Two Poems

Susan Wicks, 22 February 2007

Nuclear

Each morning as I round the bend, the same shock – that flash of river light, the bridge, the cooling towers – always that first sight gasp as if they’ve been dropped there –

Yet the landscape knows them: a fragment of old stone moves sideways, and through a tangle of red the river glitters, the bridge spins out its turquoise cobweb and there they stand like a...

Two Poems

Susan Wicks, 22 June 2000

Wild Bees

At first they come singly, outriders clinging to a thorn, a blade in my path, or hovering inches from my cheek, and then they’re faster, thicker, a dark whiplash, a moving cylinder of dark; the whole sky is black. There’s no way round. I hide my hands, tighten my small circle of hood, and go on walking, my eyes sealed shut – an effigy carved in green wood –...

Poem: ‘Miniature’

Susan Wicks, 19 August 1999

A useless art, yet half the world has mastered it.

Small plants to occupy the foreground, a pine-needle fence.

Bracken uncurls to a thin tree; a salient overlooks the world.

She must resist the urge to place a stone like a ruin, big as her fist.

Seedheads, a line of sorrel poplars, where a lake of mirror shines

in its still place at the centre – the phoney water she can fill with her face.

Poem: ‘Statues’

Susan Wicks, 30 July 1998

They stand here in a shocked silence, these grouped bodies in cold dresses, their eyes downcast; the hands quietly gesture from this flaking grotto of wishes.

But something flares in a corner – gladioli, tongues spurting into darkness: someone has been here before us.

Is it food these people are asking or their freedom? We wrench the heavy door open on a flat world, an ordinary...

Poem: ‘My Mother is Dispersed’

Susan Wicks, 23 February 1995

                   The open window admits her body. Soapy water still circles the shape of her rough finger, the steam from the runner beans displaces her only slightly. I fill my lungs with her, turn, expel her gently into sunlight. The grass under the apple-tree pushes up into her. A creeping wasp...

Poem: ‘Plates’

Susan Wicks, 21 March 1991

To Alison

When they gave you your plates to hand on to some new doctor, you held them up to the window and saw the sky in them, the river running through your skull, twigs meeting at the cerebellum, your brain uncurling, tentative as a snail on its late glide-path. Since then I have often thought of snails and their reflexes, seeing a slice of America green through your head’s filter.

A novel by Susan Wicks

Justine Jordan, 21 May 1998

You need never explain yourself in the present tense. It is the most authoritative and least analytical tense in English, the stuff of dreams (the breakdown of cause and effect) and of...

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