Dominic Leonard

Dominic Leonard

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the poet

Dominic Leonard’s writing can be found in PN Review, Poetry London, the TLS, Pain and elsewhere, with two of his poems featuring in the spring edition of The Poetry Review. In 2019, he received an Eric Gregory Award. His pamphlet, Antimasque, will be published by Broken Sleep Books in 2021. He lives and teaches in London.

the poems

Seven Birds Passed
Through a Great Building

00:00 / 01:00

            Seven birds passed through

            A great building—I cannot

            Remember you always but

            I have been finding ways to

            Remember you enough. I have

            Loved only from a safe distance,

            Staring into sinks long enough

            To know the sense of spillage

            That comes with every act of

            Honesty. Seven birds passed

            Through a house of spectacle

            Through the light that lounged

            Around each of the great stupid

            Bells and I thought about how

            Profound it felt, hands thick

            And heavy on my stupid knees.

            When I say that once I dreamt

            You were a taxi on fire plunging

            Down every country road in

            England I am not being facetious

            I am testing my immensity.

            I am trying to manage my fear,

            Which is to say I cannot risk

            Heaven, or any attempt at heaven I

            Have made so far, not when each

            Line I find is a room gone dark just

            As I leave it and always the birds are

            Flown and I’ve missed it just, just.

What is the wind, what is it

After Gertrude Stein

00:00 / 00:53

            An egg – lithe beast that could crack with any pressure,

            That gets yellower towards its centre, that hangs between

            The fingers. A ghost-vision, serenely bovine. Incubated,

            Stratified. A correct language of where it was, where it

            Went, how are we anchored by it. But, to wander with it –

            How the wind knocks my ham-fisted breath from me,

            Makes a pelt of it. And wedged is the wind, trickling

            Into and out of all my little compartments and rooms,

            A fawn in a field seen blurred through the rain at nearly

            Seven in the evening after stumbling from the house.

            Something to consider when deciding on materials to

            Rebuild the world from after testing its capacity for grief,

            Which is all this was.

On forgetting the
anniversary of a death

00:00 / 00:13

                           If that’s you

                           hearing – out on the roof, astride your miscreant


                                                       echo – you made this of me,

                                                                                 didn’t you.

Publishing credits

Seven Birds Passed Through a Great Building / On forgetting

  the anniversary of a death: exclusive first publication by iamb

What is the wind, what is it: Stand (Issue 223, Volume 17 No. 3)