Cliff Yates: a poem



Table 9

Table 9 in The Kanteen

Frankie the boxer

shows his teeth and doesn't mean it

Toasted kofta baguette,

carrot cake & a pot of tea

opposite The Greenhouse

Drops of rain, faster now

on the water feature

You can't judge by experiences

What is there, here? she says,

I know what there used to be

A man carrying pink

carnations in a black plastic bucket

on the spiral staircase

It used to be the Custard Factory / I know

and just a short walk away

the angel suspended life-size

floating feet down above the flowers

a star in both hands



Cliff Yates' latest collection is Jam (Smith/Doorstop). Previous collections include Henry's Clock and Frank Freeman's Dancing School (Salt Publishing; KFS). He has been the winner of the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and the Poetry Business Competition. This poem is from a forthcoming pamphlet with Knives Forks & Spoons Press.