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Alice Seville: a poem

I thought I should say something about illness for your magazine

I've been sat here with my illness of fibromyalgia

I introduce her: she's the baroness,

Or like someone said in this terrible book: On the Road

About a woman, "a tenacious loser"

Hanging on to me like the unwanted wife (that's Kerouac) shuck it off; a peanut suit

I hold you to my ear

Oh every man and every mollusc is a castle of privilege, a wee baby privilege

Arrayed inside him: we go off quick: stay well infrequent: we're programmed to think

we are beautiful... individual. When I signed my lease

the currant-sized figures danced around me like cartoon animals at the train ticket machine

my hand slurred over the wrong one; my friend said typical fucking


There's a pertinence about whether I'm allowed to be hungry? I mean angry. The same

I'm not scared of it

I am scared of looking "the idiot"

Used to have nightmares about

Breaking wind in my sleep; woke up

brokering bad infinities:

to see the cool girl at the sleepover sleep

My friend called my illness "bleak" like he called his bicycle Pizzaboy.

I'm unbearable now because of this pathos. No one can stand me. Radioactive Man, no goggles, just the hands, Alice

how my other friend gravitates to "bubble water", salt & vinegar when she's in the UK:

every taste that is cheap, like ice water, you can keep crowbarring your senses

open You can stand

any condition for a beat

like the sweet-tempered

bichon frise

On the postcard

the man bending over her, cold and murdered, presumably



Alice Sevilles's poetry has previously appeared in a pamphlet for The Lifeboat series (2016) and in The Literateur, and she was published in the anthology Happy Browsing: An Anthology in Praise of Bookfinders (by The Lifeboat associated with The Tangerine) in 2018. Alice completed her MA in Poetry & Criticism at Queen's, Belfast, and is currently studying for her PhD on post-millennial poetry criticism at the University of Birmingham. She lives in Birmingham with her weird cat Walter and co-runs a feminist network called PGR Feminisms. You can find it here: @PGRfeminisms.


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