B0009918 Human head sculpted in clay, major facial

Three Poems by J.T. Welsch



the trouble with actors

is they have no reflection

so cannot be saved

by pre-modern cameras

the fire alas is real

– was real the embers

too as they involve

a series of negotiations

we agree on 22 muscles

either side the face

– more he assures me

than any other animal but

like all animals there are 

types + tensions arising 

between such + like

-ness + again the swirls 

+ whorls of carpets 

opulent but insecure

less sitting than falling

off chairs weight

-lessness is

really in this year





how many loves?

how many different ways

to misspell a name?

another theatre burned

a convent in russia

a point has been reached

at which there is no longer

room to store your vast

collection of playbills

the earth will not

abide another basement + 

no fool alive has ever

fallen for an impression

the trouble with faces

is viewers they phone in

mistaking icons for

immanence so

desperate for the comeback

we get all sorts I’d say

you’d be surprised

but what did you expect

from a land of kings?

the more we talk she says

the longer it takes





you’ll find the incident

in neither text nor

performance is it not?

I wasn’t aware of 

your sister’s teeth

like a totalitarian state

so total you never heard

of it without history

we’ll have a bit more time

like that wasted on the latest

series of a requisite show

I cursed her dishabille

at newsstands this morning

the charge of mimesis has

both positive + negative

effects so beautiful

no you’re right he reckons

more calculating than beautiful

what terrific power + close

to the poet at this point

(history) – yes + how

do you think she got there?



J.T. Welsch’s poems have appeared in 3AM, Blackbox Manifold, Boston Review, PN Review, Poetry Wales and six chapbooks, including Hell Creek Anthology (Sidekick) and The Ruin (Annexe), both in 2015. A boxed sequence, Darklings, is forthcoming from Like This Press. J.T. is Lecturer in English and Creative Industries at the University of York.



Image credit: Wellcome Images

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