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D.W. Evans: a poem

Fawkes is Risen

Remember, remember, remember

but Guy's hat tips like a blindfold

over his pallid face and rouge-daubed cheeks.

Not so harrowing for the kids that way, a paper head

is still a head and, apart from the fireworks,

we've come to see him burn.

Jesus gets Christmas; dies; rises; gets Easter.

Fawkes is killed yearly, so he too must rise

without much ceremony or public holiday.

Penny for the Guy! A one-time shout, rolling the plotter

about on a buggy or pram begging for pence over the stink

and the smoke of candle-cooked turnip.

Now, it's all beer and biscuits, although hints

of the sectarian mob remain: a cheer's still the cheer of spectacle –

a wow keeps a Sicilian cadence,

that debut roar at the brazen bull.

The pall of the flesh is provided by pig roasts,

spit, pit and flame of auto de fe accenting the air

in a quasi-authentic way.

We're burning the effigy of a man long dead,

which is and isn't the same.

D.W. Evans was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, and now lives and works in Jersey. He won the Alan Jones Memorial Prize in 2019 and 2020, he was shortlisted in Ó Bhéal’s Five Words (2020 and 2021) and was highly commended in Acumen’s first international competition in 2020. His poems have appeared in the Frogmore Papers, Proverse Mingled Voices (The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press), Best New British & Irish Poets 2019 – 2021 (Black Spring Press), Lucent Dreaming, Bindweed, A3 Review and Madrigal, and, later this year, will appear in The Honest Ulsterman, Epoch and Driech’s Pop anthology.


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