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 

By fiancées 


And gifted them back


This starred book;


Kirsty Allison’s tome,

Which is words and web, string 


And echo,

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

That’s chatting


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.


Unedited One,

From which this hand crafted patchwork


Now shimmers,

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


She declaims


 With 300 emails a day and bills I cannot pay


(Each word stains us)


And yet these exchanges

Across the lilac page


Incur wealth,


Poems for an album, (this is)

A kiss from her and Gil De Ray’s


Vagrant Lovers,


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


Into cool


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.


Paradise burns.

Serpent rear and rise through each sentence.


Endangerment settles,

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,

Phantasmagorical crunch


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.

Shadows splice.


But Kirsty Allison’s poems

Are words and thoughts


That refashion

 Our understanding


Of light:



Stay profound.



David Erdos 16th September 2019  
Photos: Carl Fox


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