On Kirsty Allison: We are all the children at the temple of the burning sun – Unedited 02
Poems for an album
If Miss Haversham had ever got
To the disco
She would have been kissed
And gifted them back
This starred book;
Kirsty Allison’s tome,
Which is words and web, string
Strung on high wires
That sting the inner eye
As it looks
On her poetry and her pose
At the starry edge
Of the chasm,
This tiny chapbook
To the ghosts of both
Yeats and Plath.
Its smooth cover admits
A hand sewn poem diary
Charting her days in South London
Across the furthermost realms
Of love’s path.
From which this hand crafted patchwork
Featured on a digital Hoarding
Above the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch.
A poetry first that crowned Allison’s
East End exodus and departure,
Each word patched from pavements
That rose to redress
What feels rich.
Luke Mclean designed there,
But this is a new Catalogue de la Kirsty,
With London/French chic and street stricture,
Blooming and burnt through each stitch.
I’m in a Lolita syndrome Universe
With 300 emails a day and bills I cannot pay
(Each word stains us)
And yet these exchanges
Across the lilac page
Poems for an album, (this is)
A kiss from her and Gil De Ray’s
And beneath the touch of what’s printed
The music underneath
Strives through stealth.
It is in the design
And in the soft weave of image;
Portraits of the Girl
From West London
Who has travelled far
A poet’s gallery
Framed from Dr John Cooper Clarke
Back to Shelley,
Allison’s London Hauntings
Take each resonance back to school.
I don’t know when I started seeing ghosts
but the new ones all have cancer
She writes in The Ghosts of St. Leonards
And all at once there is vision
And the stirring of streams
Through the white.
Night terrors. Breached crypts.
Footsteps disappeared in vibrations.
In these lyrics and odes you hear basslines
Bedding lost lovers sighs as she writes.
Snapshots of the girl
In her one woman war on convention,
Ersatz French spikes tongues’ sister:
I’m on your case, debase moi
Here, then are poems as prize
In this pamphlet as totem,
Its soft carress, like her kisses
Lays held in the clasp of life’s scar.
These are poems for an album she shares
With Gil De Ray her found lover,
Their vagrancy is position
In opposing the housing codes of the day.
A Cold Lips exchange
Where the warmth within
Words and flowers
(these are used as verbs!)
And where the ashed veil is lifted
To rouse a ruined love from death’s sway.
These are the songs we can sing
Without string or pattern,
Without key or echo,
As they play valves of the mind, soul and heart,
And they bear the sharp imprint too
Of a found romance across ruin,
In which ancient control and desire’s
Infernal database play their part.
Serpent rear and rise through each sentence.
Then smears the angel’s wing
With wine stains.
Boughs are ‘scummed’ and reclaimed
By Kirsty’s sad skid row sailors.
Here is New York in a dream haze
And the Soho of the past and ‘Paree:’
Genet lingers closeby, lost on the docks,
And eager for cock, Cocteau blossoms,
Meanwhile the London glow glowers
In an astral entranced shadow maze.
The book blisters, then bloods,
Then heals as it dances
Across the crap in the cupboard,
Marks words’ way.
This is a small pamphlet of stars
Packed with a one woman cosmos.
It is the remains of life lifting
The ancient veil
For love’s say.
The Vagrant lovers astound.
And we are all vagrant lovers.
But in these words and writing
Even those who do not know they are lost
Have been found.
The sun burns.
But Kirsty Allison’s poems
Are words and thoughts
David Erdos 16th September 2019
Photos: Carl Fox