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 183, Volume 35 Number 1, September - October 2008.

Three Poems James Womack

'Don't Look Back, Lonesome Boy'

Slowly and patiently we have forgotten it all.
When we made the nails tremble in the headboard
And you rose up with a whisper, the gentle surf moaning.
Underneath the voices, a guitar sounded on the radio.
We believed (at least I believed) in the strength of our arms,
In the precise detail, proof against anything, of our faltering liquid memories,
In the absolute power of those poems I wrote
When I slid barefoot from bed - I scribbled them blindly,
While you were sleeping,
On any old paper, in a book.
There are so many beautiful, serious, urgent words that will stay forgotten.
I thought the only worthwhile writing was direct and shameless.

To love you,
While things were like this, while they stayed like this as you slept, naked,
And I had a scrap of paper, or the wall,
Or some blank corner of the planet;

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image