Gary Studley

Range, One Thousand Metres and Closing

(Winner of the 2007 University of Kent T.S. Eliot award)

She’d just walked in
and I knew I was sunk.
That from the word Go
this would be a No, No.
An Abandon Ship with All Hope Lost, day –

for the fool I would become.

in the dark swell of a partying
tallow-ringed basement,
I clung to my king-sized bed,
an orange blanketed life-raft
in the sea of noise.

Her frame silhouetted
by the kitchen searchlight
down the stairs she swept,
hips swaying from board to board
hair foaming
the jib of her jaw
mine-sweeper sharp.

She tacked effortlessly onwards,
cutting through waves
of limbs and bass
towards my corner sanctuary,
from where I watched transfixed.
An air bubble rose in my throat,
to submerge,
so far up my larynx
that it was on my palate,
that I could taste it
yet not breathe.

And as she leant forward
closing in for the kill,
she lilted
Hi, Ya -

and I knew I was sunk.

The Way It Is

late night heating ticking pipes
and outside squealing
stutter heeled girls peeling tights

there’s a painting on her wall
but it’s telling me
nothing about this at all

take me far away from these
mechanical hands
lying whispers, paid for kiss

give me just one refreshing
bite of jean wiped plum
scrumped from orchard way back when

somehow try replenishing
full to tidemark brim
the heart that’s left the building

Blank Page

I have
these hands
set in place
bandaged white
wrappings tight
safe from snap
yet bound to bleed

raw hams
in gloves weighted
hanging limp
at belt-line
by rounds inglorious,
times of seepage
and stained twitchings
‘cross rumpled sheets,

Deep pause
short praying
for moments long sought

butterfly touches
to light up our world
brushings close to a Monet’ dawn
biddings to nail a web’s
shaking embrace
or skim a pond
all casual grace,
to catch your breath -

and beat perfection
into shape.

Hello. My name is Gary Studley and this is my brief biog...
Born: Hastings. Studied Fine Art in England and America.
Work: various, including caretaker, set-decorator, bar-man, and currently teacher.
Interests: Music, gigs, films, food, art and of course, writing.
Current Studies: Creative Writing and Literature at U.K.C.

I have sent three poems to canterburypoets.blogspot to support one of its founders, my mate Chris, a fellow member of the SaveAs writing group and joint member of the editorial team of Logos writing magazine. The three poems aren't meant to be showing off, but rather just as a few examples to say hi to anyone out there who's interested in writing.

Blank Page is alternatively named At the Sound of the Bell, and is about struggling to be anything other than ham-fisted and obvious with my words. I've included The Way It Is (alternatively named Haiku Abuse) as an example of how, although we are frequently told that we need to study respected writers seriously to know our place in the writing time-line and to improve our own work, once we have looked at form and appropriateness we can use it anyway we like, to our own ends. For me, the haiku idea doesn't have to lead to a clean, shiny, mystical epiphany when we live in England, 2006. Lastly, In God We Trust is included as an example of how I write quickly from the heart and gut when something like the shite world of politicians and war pisses me off. If anyone reads any of these poems and appreciates them, then I'll be pleased. And if anyone wants to send in some of their own to accompany me then I'll be chuffed.

Cheers for your time, G.M.S