J.P. Seabright: a poem




The moment he left the wall he was done for, they were on him from every side


They swarmed round. In the course. I could see. They were young.

They attacked cunningly. They knocked him. They took advantage.

Others followed suit. Absolutely no chance. Shower of stones.

I saw something. Blood trickled down. Clutched his chest.

This hairless skull. He lay still. It was murder. Not my affair.


The police were. Society's dregs, they. Watched them chase.

In uncontrollable fury. There were shots. Blood was everywhere.

Suddenly someone shouted. I stopped, waited. He pulled out.

Little jeering fellow. I was disgusted. Turning, I confronted.

One of them. A mistake: he. Remembered the revolver.

Its owner was. Furious, he strode. Who are you? Must have cringed.


Not much past. No more chance. What are you? I knelt down.

There was a. A textbook fall. He fended them. Had been flattened.

Acute pain in. In a moment. Stone was thrown. Did not move.

He lay on. Almost torn off. The heart was. I wiped it.

I wanted to. Was a stranger. Was an outrage. How they treated.

They took no. It was disgusting. There was just. I was still.

Why did you? I regretted not. It's not allowed.


Text taken from the first phrase of each sentence from pages 111-113 of Anna Kavan’s ICE.



JP Seabright (she/they) is a queer writer living in London. Their debut poetry pamphlet, Fragments from Before the Fall: An Anthology in Post-Anthropocene Poetry, is published by Beir Bua Press. Their debut prose chapbook NO HOLDS BARRED is out early 2022 from Lupercalia Press, as is GenderFux, a collaborative poetry pamphlet, with Nine Pens Press. More info at https://jpseabright.com and via Twitter @errormessage.