Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
John McAuliffeBill Manhire in Conversation with John McAuliffe
(PN Review 259)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Patricia CraigVal Warner: A Reminiscence
(PN Review 259)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
Next Issue Gwyneth Lewis ‘Spiderings’ Ian Thomson ‘Fires were started: Tallinn, 1944’ Adrian May ‘Traditionalism and Tradition’ Judith Herzberg ‘Poems’ translated by Margitt Helbert Horatio Morpurgo ‘What is a Book?’
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PN Review 276
PN Review Substack

This poem is taken from PN Review 268, Volume 49 Number 2, November - December 2022.

Three Poems Alexandra Corrin-Tachibana
Unpacking our relationship

Love bombing

Yamashita Tatsuro’s belting out bal-

lads, on the ラジオ, as we set off for

Nagano to ski. Your fingers tap tap

on my knee. Then, you’re serenading

me, a Beach Boys cover: Please Let

Me Wonder, about our future. Tell me

to give back my ex his ring. Throw

away my wedding album. Phone me

in your lunch hour, to say you love

chubby girls. Although you dated an

air hostess with great tits. You hang

a heart around my neck. But are not

satisfied. It’s smaller than displayed

on the Internet.

Cigar incident

Remember the day you took me and

my black eyes skiing? Lamie said,

things can’t be that bad if you two

managed to go skiing. But he wasn’t

with you as we inched up the moun-

tain. You pushed me to have a cigar

the night before. Even though we

quit. The cool guy and his wife with

colleagues after Single Malts. And

my black eyes? My fault. For not leav-

ing you to sulk. For wanting to talk.

But when you’re out of sight, Lamie

asks if I need to spend a few nights

with him and his wife in California.

Mind games

Three times you pretend to throw your wed-

ding ring away. I’ve fallen from esteemed

sensei to distance learning student with no

income. But you let me binge Desperate

Housewives, drink Robert Mondavi wine,

give me pocket money. And admit how well

I click with Gloria & Lamie. It’s easier when

I’m at business dinners: you needn’t speak

a lot. And don’t I scrub up well, in my black

and white polka dots?

Birth Story

You abandon me at Kalamazoo hospital. Not able

to perceive how alone I feel in a country where we

are strangers. Not able to get that I’m not yet ready

to choose a name. When Beatrice picks me up,

makes me tea and drives me home, you say you

were on the verge of calling the police. You dislike

her immensely. Beatrice, who visits me when I give

birth, brings homemade tacos to our house. She

sees through you, to the real me.

Narcissistic personality disorder

Thirteen years later, in England, you’re Chairman

of the Japanese Golf Association.You buy prosec-

co, win tournaments. You write 特別な reports.

Your face is on the web. Use Re-up hair tonic for

men. Straighten your teeth. Everyone says you

don’t look in your fifties. And what of my modest

poetry prize?You tell our son I can donate it to our

domestic account. You can pay in less this month.


When I’m marking homework, you say it’s not

appropriate to be working on a Saturday. Although

you write daily reports, play Boxing Day golf. You

ask if I’ve had a diagnosis of anxiety. Or if it’s

something hormonal. You should call my boss if

he’s overloading me. But you don’t know his name.

On a whim, you take my computer away. I have

twenty minutes to remove my work files. Later,

you say you were cleaning it up. It takes a profes-

sional to tell me, that this is not acceptable.

Snapshots from Beck Hide

On the lake born of mining activities, two

swans, with grimy plumage. I ping you the

photo. Tell you how they fought another

pair for their stretch, the losers put to flight.

Do you remember the mute swans at Wind-

sor? Over 300 of them. Using the huge body

of water as a runway for taking off. How ugly

they were! I told you I preferred to see two,

at a distance, their heads in a heart.

Mum warned me to stay away from swans.

Just like she said never let the sun go down

on an argument. A swan can break your leg

if it believes that it’s defending its territory.

And although it might be an old wives’ tale,

I look past them, to a heron on a post, who’s

ignoring bold young geese congregating in

the duckweed. Canada geese, an invasive

species, you tell me: locusts of fresh water.

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image