The Penguin Modern Poets are succinct guides to the richness and diversity of contemporary poetry. Every volume brings together representative selections from the work of three poets now writing, allowing the curious reader and the seasoned lover of poetry to encounter the most exciting voices of our moment.
". . . by the bollocks I mind, by the virgin I'm like,
by the smell of teen spirit, the punch that I spike,
"by hydro and chronic and eight-legged sparks,
by G-strings and tassels, by bummers and narcs,
"by the temples I razed with a swish of my tail,
by the models of Jupiter I built to full scale,
"I am a man of few words, each one a thrown switch.
Shall I name the mouth-breathers at whom I pitch
"with superstitious loathing these excretions oozing bile?
Then pull up a chair. This could take a while."
- MICHAEL ROBBINS, 'Space Mountain'
"I was born as a woman, I talk you to death,
or else your ear off,
or else you to sleep. What do I have, all the time
in the world, and a voice that swings brass back
and forth, you can hear it, and a focal point where
my face should be. What do I have, I have absolute
power, and what I want is your money, your drool,
and your mind, and the sense of myself as a snake,
and a garter in the grass . . .
Why do I do it is easy, I am working
my way through school. Give me the money
for Modernism, and give me the money
for what comes next."
- PATRICIA LOCKWOOD, 'The Hypno-Domme Speaks, and Speaks and Speaks'
". . . we just hugged, sat on a high up bench
somewhere not that secret really
off the Lewes road, afternoon of gold
and magpies on a cusp. But no wholly
"depth-charge branch is too white, padded
shot a mushroom cap a cheapened rink
ice age glass of frozen, uplit tongues
unleaven how I never meant for you to drink
"a glass of day-old wholly sincere
spit who under maketh spring sew
tongues into my pocket tongue
of day-old really salt-sincere snow
and not just sitting on a bench
how much we want to fuck in circling spring . . ."
- TIMOTHY THORNTON, 'Broadcast'
Timothy Thornton is a writer, composer, pianist, and teacher, based in Brighton. His poetry and prose has appeared in numerous journals in print and online; his work for theatre and the stage has been performed at venues such as the Battersea Arts Centre and The Yard Theatre. His books of poetry include Jocund Day (Mountain Press, 2011), Working Together for a Safer London (Barque Press, 2015), Water and Burning Effects On/Off (Shit Valley, 2015) and Broken Slat From Starling (The Winter Olympics, 2015).