Shaw Worth

Shaw Worth

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the poet

Shaw Worth is a student living in London. His work has received three commendations in the Foyle Young Poet of the Year competition, appeared in the Waltham Forest Poetry Competition anthology close, and is forthcoming in World-dream. Shaw also co-edits Meanwhile Magazine.

the poems

Breaktime on the
Toddlers and Tiaras Set

00:00 / 01:44

            Today my two-year-old is Regional Beauty

            Supreme. She will be Princess Kansas. She will

            devour the world. Her two main hobbies

            are broad daylight and temporary teeth

            called flippers; we throw them in the summer

            river, we watch them dance like mayflies.

            Before she goes on stage they play Wichita

            Lineman for me and the soft string whine comes

            to get me, and these all-time winner women

            and the local bowling alley recede.

            I go back to my father, who hated me;

            he said our name was Resaca for fighting

            but I stayed here in the county to listen

            through the wire for the future, which is

            my champion daughter. At home I marry

            the mirror and try her lipstick on at

            dinner. I am the quality controller.

            She knows we need the money

            and she brings it back each Monday.

            I wash the dresses. We sing together

            every weekend. We storm like thunder

            through the waxed music halls, then I pass

            her the mic, and her glitter in their golf ball

            eyes makes the world see more clearly

            and the cinched March sun walk out to greet

            the judges and these endless plains, where we

            are unloading a pickup of trophies

            and rejoicing in endless victory.

Dharma Talk

00:00 / 01:44

      Ani Pema says we would prefer to remain asleep in the West. Just like that:

      quietly. And she laughs loud and jokes since her wisdom overflows.


      But distraction is freehand and creative, I think; while I walk in the shop I listen—

      I should be bolder at adding new people on Facebook, whose images I glide over

                                                                                                             nightly


      a fish through a reef, or a bored mountain goat, tripping on the space between crags.

      It’s so important, she says, to get out of this pool of steamy slash fictional nothing,


      of thoughts that crawl like sci-fi animals, of unwatched films & love poems—

                                                                                                           you are not

      who you think you are. You never were. But before I get discursive and freehand

                                                                                                         about dinner,


      I remember again that still I can breathe, and adopt a posture of repose in the air,

      like a fly on a thousand-petalled lotus. I twist my left hip & it hurts for a week;


      I bruise my calves on the flow of time, I get dinner, again. There are road stops

      on the path. On the four hundredth petal of my long trashy thriller,


      the gang climb the glacier in search of the body; the killer impersonates below.

      They find her, filled with love and righteous action, dig her out from the hard-set snow.

Landscape as Guided Meditation

00:00 / 01:44

            No, I’m serious. Imagine you’re

            fifty one hundred fathoms tall, big

            head up with blue generous Neptune,

            and your feet down in the Cape Cod lake

            where there were eels and you met your teacher.


            You have no pain and high dexterity.

            You think aloud with your shoulder blade

            the size of the province: it says don’t trust

            the work, do it again, you might just find that

            something in all this boundless space,


            these foamy bits of lake that lodge beyond

            the breath. Look, there’s Jupiter. I guess breath

            is the end of be all. You’re so massive

            you can’t float by. Uncombing your hair

            the length of Cape Cod will send a theta


            wave to Earth with the power to make

            the highways curl up on themselves then

            heal all beings of hope and fear. So do it.

            Go do the dishes and strike the bowl till

            it becomes a portal. Crawl through


            to a large non-conceptual room,

            the first of ten final perfections.

            We don’t need to list them here quite yet.

            The lake has dried up with waiting for you

            the wallpaper is Neptune imagined.

Publishing credits

All poems: exclusive first publication by iamb