Joelle Taylor

the o god

from a distance/ wedding bells look like bombs dropping/ o lord the

sky has broken/ into middle aged men/ there she is/ bruised to rainbow
bunting/ how was I to know that/ to light a cigarette was to light a fuse/
her face/ white against the sudden/ behind her/ buildings falling to
their knees/ birds taking back their songs/ all this little black/ how hello
can be the end of the world/ how you can fall into its o/ where did
I put my shoes?/ Is there a reason for a coat?/ o lord the butches are
climbing inside each other/ chasing down ghosts/ diving from high rises
into the bodies of swans/ that frisk the air/ correct the parting/ the tie/
tightening/ o lord I’m moving into the horror of my heart/ combing my
hair/ making appointments/ searching for a wall to line books against/ a
view to somewhere that isn’t me/ mine’s a pint of father, please/ I want
a mirror that shows me where I went wrong/ here’s me pulling apart the
bird/ to find the source of the song.


Joelle Taylor is an award-winning poet, playwright, author and educator. She has written four collections of poetry: Ska Tissue (Mother Foucault Press, 2011), The Woman Who Was Not There (Burning Eye Books, 2014) and Songs My Enemy Taught Me (Out-Spoken Press, 2017). Her most recent collection, C+NTO & Othered Poems (Westbourne Press, 2021) was the winner of the T.S. Eliot Award 2021. It was named as one of the best poetry books of the year by The Telegraph, The New Statesman, The Times Literary Supplement and The White Review. She is co-curator and host of Out-Spoken Live, a live poetry and performance club in residence at the Southbank Centre.

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