Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 04 April 2016

  • The Museum of Bus Stop Queues


    Bowling pins holding on to small suns.

    Almost all of their work
    addresses the theme of retaliation.

    They sip time through a straw.

    Their book has all the symptoms
    of a forgotten ice cream.

    ‘Our main weakness is probably the universe.’

    What of their best quality?

                                                    They look upstream.

    They are always looking upstream.


    by Claire Trévien


    This is the final poem from a special trio featuring work by poets who are appearing at one of the two Poetry Centre events in the Oxford Literary Festival. Claire Trévien will be reading alongside Sarah Hesketh and Harry Man tomorrow (Tuesday 5 April) at 4pm. There are more details on the Oxford Literary Festival website. We hope to see you there!


    ‘The Museum of Bus Stop Queues’ is copyright © Claire Trévien, 2016. It is reprinted from Astéronymes (Penned in the Margins, 2016) by permission of Penned in the Margins.

    Astéronyme, n. (French). A sequence of asterisks used to hide a name or password. In this follow-up to her acclaimed debut, The Shipwrecked House, Trévien becomes curator of imaginary museums, indexing objects and histories with a quixotic energy. The stunning central sequence recounts a journey across the Scottish island of Arran, where myths are carved into remote caves and a mountain hides behind a ‘froufrou of gas’. Formally inventive and intricately composed, Astéronymes is a book of redactions – and an elegy for places and people that have been ruined by time, erosion or neglect.

    Claire Trévien is an Anglo-Breton poet, editor, reviewer, workshop leader and live literature producer. She is the author of the pamphlet Low-Tide Lottery and of The Shipwrecked House, which was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. She edits Sabotage Reviews, and in November 2013, she was the Poetry School’s first digital poet-in-residence. Her second collection, Astéronymes, has just been published. You can read more about the book on the Penned in the Margins website, and more about Claire on her own site.

    Penned in the Margins creates publications and performances for people who are not afraid to take risks. The company believes in the power of language to challenge how we think, test new ideas and explore alternative stories. It operates across the arts, collaborating with writers, artists and creative partners using new platforms and technologies. Read more about its work on its website. You can also follow Penned in the Margins on Twitter and on Facebook.

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