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

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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

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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

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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

Breaktime on the Toddlers and Tiaras Set: ????

Dharma Talk: ????

Landscape as Guided Meditation: ????

S h a r e