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Deborah Finding



the poet

Originally from North-East England and now living in London, Deborah Finding is a queer feminist writer with a background in academia and activism. Her poetry has featured in fourteen poems, The Alchemy Spoon, The Friday Poem and anthologies from Live Canon, Renard Press, Victorina and Fly on the Wall Press. She came first in the poetry category of the Write By The Sea Literary Festival Writing Competition 2022, and was commended in the Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2022. Her debut pamphlet vigils for dead and dying girls is forthcoming from Nine Pens.

the poems


00:00 / 01:34

                        you explained to me that amortisation

                        is the depreciation of non-tangible assets

                        which are things like goodwill and loyalty

                        and relationships you can depend on

                        it’s a complex calculation to figure out 

                        what these things are worth, the factors

                        that add to or detract from their value

                        and how quickly they can be lost

                        but I want to try, I always did

                        I can show my workings out,

                        in your spread sheets, under which 

                        we did, to an advanced level, excel …

                        I write this as addictive additive, also

                        when you said you would love me

                        all of the days. like infinity plus one

                        but plus one was the problem

                        which leads us to the minus column

                        your creative accounting of her

                        to me, to her of me, every evasion

                        a reduction of your credit score

                        and now we disagree on the answer

                        I show you a number in the red

                        you tell me of future investments

                        and paint me a unicorn valuation

                        but it turns out amortisation is just 

                        the process of slowly writing off a debt

                        on paper at least. so consider it 

                        done, books balanced, no net gain

                        loving you was a zero-sum game

dear ______

00:00 / 03:24

            My therapist told me to picture you as a scorpion

            in a guided meditation, in which she had me imagine –

            in a very visceral way – crushing you to death 

            with my foot, till you were nothing but shit and dust.

            Now, I know what you are thinking:

            surely a real therapist would never suggest such a thing!

            but to be totally honest with you

            she is somewhat unconventional in her methods

            and only the week before this

            she had asked me to imagine finding a grave

            and looking down to see your lifeless body 

            in the deep and open dirt –

            the knowledge of your death 

            giving me back my own breath

            which I'd been holding all these months

            terrified that I could see you on every corner

            your dark hair swinging behind you

            in front of me

            a kind of ponytail PTSD.

            I wish I was joking.

            Anyway, back to you as a scorpion, did you know 

            it’s said they're viciously venomous for no reason?

            Have you heard that fable about the frog and the scorpion,

            that ends with the scorpion saying, it’s in my nature?

            Well, I don’t believe that shit.

            I don’t believe you were born like that

            to sting for the sake of it. But it doesn’t matter

            because you are that now

            and you should be approached with extreme caution

            and protective clothing, if at all

            and I learned the hard way 

            that anyone who would keep a scorpion for a pet 

            is a fool. There’s an urban myth 

            that if you light a circle of fire around a scorpion

            it will sting itself to death 

            horribly … for a long time 

            I thought about how I could set your world on fire:

            trap you in a prison with only your own poison 

            for company, and glass walls and spotlights 

            for all to see who you really are.

            I texted your name so often

            that my phone still wants to gift it to me in autocorrect 

            whenever I type the first three letters

            but this is progress, because for a while just the E would do it.

            One day I hope I can look at your name 

            in black and white

            or even meet someone else 

            with it, and not hate them on sight

            and though today is not that day

            I know it must be coming.

            I don’t think of you so much now 

            and I wear a scorpion earring.

            Not every day

            but on those mornings where I wake up shaking

            or when the offence of an injustice 

            is simply overwhelming.

            It helps remind me that it’s ok 

            if a battle is too bloody to fight,

            that self-care sometimes means you don’t get to win

            even when you’re right

            and the day I grew up 

            is the day I understood 

            that the sun shines just the same 

            on evil and good.

            Ah, scorpion … 

            despite all I learned about you

            it’s not in my nature 

            to claim you have no path to salvation

            but it does bring me comfort to know 

            that at any moment

            any enemy can be crushed

            if only in imagination.


00:00 / 00:42

                        today I did not want to write about desire

                        I had loftier plans for worthier topics

                        some notes about injustices and a page

                        already half-baked with an idea about a town

                        but you walked me home last night

                        after dinner and before you took a cab

                        so now my hands are your hands thinking 

                        dextrously of the five delicious minutes spent

                        kissing you in the rain, our cold wet faces

                        in refreshing contrast to our hot wet mouths

                        tongues tasting intoxicatingly of our desserts 

                        and of not having kissed each other for a week

Publishing credits

amortisation: Live Canon Anthology 2022 (Live Canon)

dear ______: exclusive first publication by iamb

distracted: Hearth & Coffin Literary Journal (Vol. 2, Issue 1)


S h a r e

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