Alan Kissane



the poet

Alan Kissane is an English teacher in the Midlands, UK, whose poems have appeared in Allegro, Dissonance Magazine, Dust Poetry, Emerge Literary Journal, Epoch, Fahmidan, Kindling and Neologism. He contributed to Acid Bath Publishing’s printed volume, Wage Slaves, and is currently finishing an as-yet-unnamed collection of poems on politics and the self.

the poems

Bonfire of Inanities

00:00 / 01:17

I want to build the walls of a house I don’t intend

to live in,

               just to use my hands.

I want to breathe free and easy,     all of the time.

It’s not much of a dream

               but it’s mine.

I want time to guide me forward, again. I’ve had

               enough of circles, curves. I don’t

understand geometry.

I want to see

    what’s in front of me. To have

a ‘no surprises here’         sign

tattooed on my eyelid door,      in my clear light


                     like a worthwhile political slogan.

I don’t want to be alone. I’m afraid

               of being given   time to think, to feel.

I want to read

and consume

         words grown in fields of     azure    light.


I’m jealous of words;

the way they       connect and spark like I can’t,

with people, resonating within.

I don’t want to be crooked        anymore,

hunched over

                             the weight of my own life.

I just want to burn the unnecessary in me,


                                           like Savaronola.

In a Glass Case

00:00 / 01:17

Footsteps, like fingertips, trace

lines across this worn face,

back and forth, sometimes

lost, sometimes not,

always crisscrossing,

back and forth,

like moments or thoughts, sometimes

lost, sometimes not,

like butterflies pinned to a board

in a glass case

in a museum, beautiful

yet lonely, untouched, unfree,

and gazed upon

in awe before being forgotten.

Up Here With
the Rooks and Ravens

00:00 / 00:48

She sits in fury,

her eyes torn from blindness,

her robe rotten, a reminder of the so-called

glorious resolution.

Here the scales have truly fallen

from her hands, the sword heavy,

bowed, rusted and bitten

by the querulous blood of backs slain in the name of


below, a war

over numbers and paper:

nothing and everything.

This is this land now,

a stain on a vast leaf of aged parchment

floating on a lake of unbelief,

with no way off.

Publishing credits

All poems: exclusive first publication by iamb

© original authors 2021

inspired by

Poetry Archive.png