Do not wait for the table to be lit
within, primed to glow with its currency
of bread. Do not wait for the budding rose
to burst under its own arrow-straight bent
for rot. Call me today when the hard ray
on the sundial, wavering between noon
and hesitation, forces the pupil
to pin drop small: the blue iris swelling
to provide us a nest. Come lit and drunk
on the thrill of the closing gap; the mix
of wet, hot earth and bougainvillea
pressing through the aching sandstone town.
Come damp-haired and without your belt, your shirt
smelling of sea salt and bottle in hand.
Each tumbling piazza, each exhaust fume
inhaled will be remedied by a world
surrendered within four walls, between two
lips. Let me make magnets of ripened hearts,
tongues, fruit and fresh linen. Let no one but
the river know. The door will undress itself
of locks at your skin. Step over your quiet, shy
morning; be as silk: a guest in my hands.
Please, your head waits for a shoulder and not for
a single bed. Take my bait. Just here: bite.
The Calls is a collection that will make 'the hours dance through your iris'. Its sensational visual appliance of metaphor & image ping at your skin like a stretched elastic band. A book soaked in 'urban lore' & domestic dazzle; both loss & celebration. Poems which bewitch the mind into switching from language to film, kept hypnotised by the gorgeous Baroque style & painterly psychogeography; where the landscape is laced with spectre, where the minuscule is mapped, where life is discovered in close-up under the lens. You won't regret delving in... – Janette Ayachi
In these beautifully achieved poems, at once inviting and haunting, Olivia Hodgson blends beguiling figurative and aural detail with a feel and appetite for mystery. Questioning and conjuring, The Calls possesses a rare poise, glitteringly at ease in its own unsettling energies. – Gregory Leadbetter
The Calls by Olivia Hodgson (ISBN: 9781915108029)
How dare it, growing
like a sinew about the thorn
caught in a linnet’s wing. Moving
the minute hand back; inviting
the shadow of an unseen branch
to gnaw at the dressing table.
How dare it, mocking
my Midland lilt, finding silken ways
to the scab of the matter.
Forcing me to sacrament, silencing
the bell tower’s choke;
splitting the pew behind me.
Using my hair, brushed dead, for linen:
peering over with the fused seed
of a colourless eye. Its outline
on the mattress in the morning, the shape
of sleep: all furred and no feeling.
Renewing innumerable through summer,
crowing at false midnight.
A twisting shock of river
hit the sky, the hue of shower-hot
skin, awash with shimmering feather
and bated breath.
A Midland county away
from the tide; a sharp moon the battery
that fuels it. My small brother, pyjama-soft,
leaves a space
just big enough for a bolted star
and the absent sister between us.
About Olivia Hodgson
Olivia Hodgson completed her MA in Creative Writing at Birmingham City University where she won The Mercian Prize for Poetry. She was shortlisted for the Wolverhampton Literature Festival Poetry Prize 2021 and was included in The Best of The Folklore Prize anthology. Her poetry and short fiction have been published in Dreich, The Honest Ulsterman, Littoral Press Magazine, The Lyrical Aye, Smoke, Wild Court, and others. The Calls is her first collection of poetry.