Young Poet: Lily Finch

Lily Finch is from Ramsgate, by the sea. She studied English at Oxford, and is now doing a masters in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths.

David and Goliath Story

So you, unperturbed,

let me weep on your

marvellous stomach–

hallowed ground,

ribbed by the sleeping mounds

of nested muscles–

and when I am done,

wrung out, washed in,

belly-up on the sand

like a beached jelly,

you gift me a Stanley Hammer:

practical yet elegant,

like me, on a good day

then later, you tail me

from New Cross to Kilburn

in a biblical flood,

you out on your cycle

and I, tracing your lights

from my great, greasy

bus-box, petrified–

a silver-flash sardine

chasing a humpback,

a David and Goliath Story!

you tell me, hero-mode–

but tell me this, tell me how,

of all the faces in the world,

did I align myself to yours?–

noble-nosed, baby-flushed–

a miracle! Pulled up next to mine,

I spy you, Lover,

through the window-fogged—

I took a neat nail

and my Stanley Hammer,

hung that grin up

on my heart’s cushioned wall.

Sticky Lullaby

goodnight my darling                        

  I’m four floors up at Senate House

just drifting off pleasantly   

  in the room chock-a-block with Chesterfields

rows and rows of them                   

  like dimpled pigs in the abattoir queue

waiting for the making              

  of a thousand slick little sausages

so goodnight my darling            

   I’m taking the piglets

and we’re getting out of here

  we trot fast in our finest cowboy boots

licking our fuzzy lips

   and thrusting our coiled appendages,

and what’s more, we’re dreaming of you           

   making sticky love to me

at strange, hip-aching angles

   in a high sticky barn where the pigs aren’t dead,

just sleeping,                                       

   in a puff of apricot hay;

you and I have burnt our bookbags

   and grown snouts

so there’s nothing, really,                       

   to be getting on with.


after Ben Jonson

Thou more then most sweet glove,

   Unto my more sweet love,

   Suffer me to store with kisses

   This empty lodging…

When the rain came I read a book of love poems

I was shrivelled as a hag, and in it there was Jonson

writing his Lady as a white kid glove, so desperate

was he to shove his busy red fingers into her;

but she’ll get holes, I said aloud, in her nice thin leather

she’ll get holes, whilst outside someone bulldozed

someone else’s home, so the bricks above me quivered

and the windows quaked: us next! they cried, but still I rifled

through my sonnets, singing Oh God!

when will I ever learn