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R o d   M e n g h a m

      S m i t t e n

Before dawn all the first born
died under the anaesthetic.

Paper, ink, pen and all
the poisonous skin is heir to

started to feel utterly strange
I still have the ticket

lights go out and this automatically
puts hope into the hygienist.

They named a clinic in Chicago
I have never walked into

in the dark of the stem
although hidden now is the balance of power

the square root on which life depends
but that's not the only answer.

The casual tourniquet has ceased to turn
I explain to the children my nightmare

hating the mainland as it slips from view
for the breaking surf has covered it over

with everlasting moisturiser.


Rod Mengham is the Director of Studies in English at Jesus College, Cambridge, and the publisher of Equipage Press, a leading small publisher of contemporary poetry.
You can obtain a list of Equipage titles by writing to Rod Mengham at Jesus College, Cambridge CB5 8BL, United Kingdom, enclosing return postage.
The URL address of this page is
This material is copyright © Rod Mengham and Jacket magazine 1998

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