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Isabelle Kenyon



the poet

Isabelle Kenyon is a Manchester poet and novelist and the Managing Director of Fly on the Wall Press. She has had four poetry chapbooks published, most recently ‘Growing Pains’ (Indigo Dreams) and ‘Potential’ (Ghost City Press) and one novel ‘The Dark Within Them’ (Fly on the Wall Press).

the poems

Afternoon Tea with Self

00:00 / 00:54

We are in Ali’s café at the end of the world –

it must be

for I am sharing scones with myself at sixteen

our legs gangly under table

and much the same, 

though one pair is wrapped in electric blue,

and I find there is always an Ali’s café to be found


She says she is ready to understand, 

dabbing lip-gloss curves with napkin.

I say she never will, sorry,

some things, people, you pass on from, like wraiths,

better to shrug the last five years off

like glitter.

She says I am lying, of course, and I smile

for I knew she would say it

and we finish our tea like a stubborn, married couple.

Gestures which are really
about inadequacy and
absent fathers

00:00 / 00:41

I like you experimental

hair strands traversing the colour spectrum,

sheep-shorn at base, wild

deep, like your laugh.

Lately, you've tamed nature to Mouse

for a man who requires bread pre-chewed 

into starch.

You mother-bird hop;

I text silent space bars of an argument

which is really about growing up and out

as two separate shoots of grass

one nestled in the same compost,

one fidgeting for further fields.


00:00 / 00:30

She gives him hair on his chest

downy like the otter, playful and familiar.

He gives her her lips

from the pit of a plum, all spring

and juice

she finds herself delicious.

She has found answers:

why his spine is sculpted just so

why his hands are warm bowls of milk.

Publishing credits


S h a r e

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