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

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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

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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

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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)

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