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Jude Marr



the poet

The Pushcart Prize-nominated non-binary poet Jude Marr (they/them) is the author of the poetry collection We Know Each Other By Our Wounds. Their work has appeared in many magazines in the US, the UK and worldwide. After ten years of living, learning and teaching in the US, Jude is now back in Britain working as a freelance editor and writing coach. They're looking forward to expanding their horizons on the UK poetry scene.

the poems

Live from the Billionaire
Philanthropists’ Banquet

00:00 / 02:06

            at this false table appetite is not loss: love cocoons blame while self-

            proclaimed good servants shave bottom lines and spin

            kaleidoscopes before the famished (slivered glass as thought salad)

            as well-tended hands offer bread to shrinking, wrinkled bodies

            the would-be unhinge their hearts, still filthy from a dream of delights

            meanwhile children, graveyard wraiths, stuff restructured

            bread into unlined mouths: their hands hang

            angular: their eye-skeletons are sockets of birds who sing, featherless

            in the graveyard of power-hungry minds, dark famine eats air: rainfall’s

            undelivered: a mess of struts rises around barred gold—

            three meals feed expectations: a bountiful garden, bread without errors,

                                                                                     heart-table dreams

            and we say, let’s eat expensive: grind night like we grind coffee: remind

            the pot that we are appetite: but what terror of the rambling heart,

            rock-fraught and filthy, empties a child’s hand without touching?

            graveyard children make our sold-out hearts raw: we draw

            our hands from their hunger: we make coffee without touching the world.


00:00 / 01:07

            spider on a cold expanse of glass: your padded claws, tiny

            to the human eye, never misstep: your leg-hairs hear

            the beat of winter’s wings—

                                                  find my window’s crack

            and crawl in: my home’s dark

            corners do not hide a broom: make my room

            your own: spin filaments as sanctuary, silk strong enough

            to catch the light—

                                      cold-blooded spider: I know you

            do not fear winter’s beak: nature has made you predator

            and prey: stay

                                of execution is my offering: all I seek

            is fractal consolation from the corner of my eye.

Silence Will Not Save Us

00:00 / 01:14

                        word-heat rises, carbon-oxidised, as oily lies

                        combust: on city streets

                        we are still breathing, just: our children

                        trusted us—

                        masks act as word-catchers, trapping holy lies

                        as halitosis, drowning saviour

                        fantasies in spit: still, the unmasked

                        spew their shit—

                        jugglers, jousters, clowns conjure witty lies

                        to please a crowd: word games

                        to distract: even mimes may


                        in my silent room, I pass my cup

                        from one hand to the other: I am the loner

                        I declaim, my wasted words

                        already ash—

                        in my room, silent, I smell smoke.

Publishing credits

All poems: exclusive first publication by iamb


S h a r e

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