Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 22 December 2020

  • nonrestorative sleep


    & sometimes this sick can be beautiful
    I suck in air wake up all stomach all breath 

                                              can I tell you
    how each minute of dead quiet morning
    will taste of course I can I have
    almost all night awake in my lungs
    I am a space I practice expanding
    often I make rooms I fill them up
    with pain can I fill you 

                 up to survive
    is to name everything you own 

    if it hurts name it
                                      beautiful 

    pain flowers in my back

    all night all over
    a beautiful boy exists    

    his breath filling me
        up to name him 

    beautiful beautiful boy

    by William Gee


    This is the final Weekly Poem before a Christmas break. We wish you and your family all the very best for the holidays and look forward to sharing more poems with you from early January!

    We were delighted to learn recently that one of our new ignitionpress pamphlets, Ripe by Isabelle Baafi, has been selected as the Poetry Book Society’s Pamphlet Choice for Spring 2021! You can read more about the pamphlet, hear Isabelle talk about it, and buy a copy on our website. You can also still watch the online launch of Ripe, which we featured alongside two other exciting pamphlets: Lung Iron by Daniel Fraser and Ephebos by Kostya Tsolakis. Find out more about them on the website.

    ‘nonrestorative sleep’ is copyright © William Gee, 2020. It is reprinted from Rheuma, published by Bad Betty Press by permission of the publisher. You can read about the pamphlet on the Bad Betty Press website

    William Gee’s breathtaking, disruptive debut is written in the language of the body. A song from somewhere deep within, it sings of what the body remembers, how it rebels. These are dizzying poems, opening up and obscuring, primal and elusive. To read them is to understand the precariousness and the violence of love, of living with secrets, of being in a body that won’t conform. The pamphlet was chosen as the Poetry Book Society’s Pamphlet Choice for Winter 2020.

    You can read more about William’s pamphlet and buy a copy on the Bad Betty Press website, and follow William on Twitter.

    Bad Betty Press is an independent publisher of new poetry, founded in 2017 by Amy Acre and Jake Wild Hall. We love writing that is bad (in the Foxy Brown sense) and beautiful (‘a Betty’ in 90s slang). We love the strange, raw and risk-taking. We believe strongly in art’s capacity to challenge its own definition, to curve away from the norm, making space for more and varied voices. Find out more about our books on our website and follow Bad Betty on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

    Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.