the poetry that matters

Humphrey Astley

Humphrey Astley was born and lives in Oxford, England, where he studies at Ruskin College.  He is editor of Rain Over Bouville, a quarterly web zine and small press, the latter of which has published two of his own collections as well as those by poets in Montreal, Stockholm and Edinburgh. His writing has appeared in Black Heart magazine and the Workshop Studio program.

The Green Dress

the green dress
below me is
a meadow
drinks my rain

shell of emerald
shielding pink
black market-

and the curtain
on the window
in the tower
of the sinned

the green dress
beneath me is
by naked isthmus

down the shores
of which are
little buoys

we are siblings
lapping nightly
at the tangle
of our ties

save me from
the green dress
beside me







The so-called path
of least resistance
lined with toes:
the early mourners crowd the flanks
of this procession, watching mankind
crawl through gallows
since the carpenter’s commission
was deployed.


Here is the schoolboy
kicking a stone
all the way to his door
without knowing why,
there the deflection
that looses the birds
in a freak of directions
out from the birch.


Horizons are the churches
of the sceptic;
they lay thresholds
in a ring around her home.
And where the curvature of Earth
is found to slacken,
with her twin eyes
she reties the skyline’s bow.


The so-called path
of least resistance
lined with toes:
the early mourners crowd the flanks
of this progression at the bell.
And it would be hell
without my fellow fool,
with whom I fear no heaven.







In the Thinking


that skank
that freak of natur
Tyra Hunter
who came from the street
she came off the road one night
and shards of glass flew up
like birds and bees
to fetch the cream of Washington DC
hardhat cuntmen
who weren’t born yesterday
this ain’t no bitch

lo and behold
her body held in low esteem
and all her blood an unconvincing red
a queerouge in pools
they mopped it up with dollar bills
with a payoff of three million
that’s a buck for every pore
through which she’d breathed
that skank
                       in death
she knew the freedom
that was perjured in the thinking
of her traitors


Tyra Hunter was an African-American transsexual who was involved in a 1995 car crash and, effectively, allowed to die by the emergency services.

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