PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
PN Review Prize winners announced
Carcanet Press and PN Review are delighted to announce the winners of the first ever PN Review Prize. read more
Most Read... Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing
‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing

(PN Review 236)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Alejandro Fernandez-OsorioPomace (trans. James Womack)
(PN Review 236)
Kei MillerIn the Shadow of Derek Walcott
1930–2017

(PN Review 235)
Kate BinghamPuddle
(PN Review 236)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Gratis Ad 2
Next Issue CELEBRATING JOHN ASHBERY Contributors include Mark Ford, Marina Warner, Jeremy Over, Theophilus Kwek, Sam Riviere, Luke Kennard, Philip Terry,Agnes Lehoczky, Emily Critchley, Oli Hazard and others Miles Champion The Gold Standard Rebecca Watts The Cult of the Noble Amateur Marina Tsvetaeva ‘My desire has the features of a woman’: Two Letters translated by Christopher Whyte Iain Bamforth Black and White

This poem is taken from PN Review 218, Volume 40 Number 6, July - August 2014.

Lolita in Wonderland Miles Champion
I step leisurely toward surprises. I limit work to custom jobs inside a doll. I shake in my shoes when a cocktail develops. I’ve got to act tiny, with a network for dabbing at contracts to get rid of germs. My eyeball squeaks like a balloon.

Sleep, with its room key dangling from a yawn, arrives at my face with a writ for nonpayment of working features while persistent night opens to swallow a philter. I tweak loose the threshold. There’s ample space for a negative image but it’s quiet and uptight, like when a self-made reclining nude said fuck you to Picasso.

The best money catches nice immediate drugs. A bent cop draws back a leafy smell. I should see if my corkscrew has a biological use. Why was Mozart covered in thick fur? Does smoke have children? Which armpit toy is mostly glass? I smash through the picturesque, where the cows go sha-boom, to suck on a hatchet. Might go looking for the fish slice.

It’s what happens when a gunman creates a lipstick, it feels great in your hand then you lose it. Kurosawa’s a shrub, Hammett a rinsing glass. I film my teeth.

In Sweden once this guy jiggled shrimps in yoghurt, contracted leprosy and became a nun. His father had a silly name for welding struts to a can. Ice cubes in paraffin. The dishwasher crossbow. The bullet with increased leisure. I seem first to shoot and then exploit a photogenic smear.

I wake to a tiny church bell, bring it to my lips and say a blanket word. An orderly hoses a jigsaw. I bake a sponge. I take down a glossary of forms. I go mad before nature and am withdrawn at lunch. I teach death, using my own end to point to the mechanism while my keeper straddles the butt-piece. I plait thongs until they give a vague impression of belt. I sing the body leather.

Actual contact would make any scientist dirty up there, fidget with a bar of soap, turn a few cartwheels, borrow a vacuum cleaner, fetch some ether, make the dead speak, then get lost, return to invented childhood, become a dreamer, walk into Torquay, miss the gig, hear the grass grow, feel out of it, hide behind a lettuce, know all things, go back inside, climb the social ladder, dick an actor, cancel the milk, ring Charlie Korngold, mistake a lipless jug for a quasi-theatre, bleach a pair of jeans, help a jockey quit by using the last of the Vaseline, ask if ‘wabe’ is stone, hold a piece of it the wrong way less than six inches from a natural bowl with a stage. The plastic world won’t keep, desserts turn into stiff waves. A monster decorates the labyrinth. Two deck chairs full of rock plants beguile a small deer. A bit of flex spills out of a bra. I paint it, pink.

Down in the ping-pong room I rotate my hands, as if screwing a moth into jogging pants. I get my tools to step out while my privacy guards the flashlight. A bead constrains the sweat on my face. The moth fits the brief. It sits back while I explain what prose is, activating the plot in the process. I incubate a musical phrase in my mouth, separating the white from the notes. The song expands priapically, a ball sometimes resting on it. A workman patches the leak-back from a mental checkmark, an ark on dribble.
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image