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Mims Sully

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the poet

Mims Sully is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominated poet from Sussex, England. A winner of the Visual Verse Autumn Writing Prize 2022, her work has appeared in numerous journals including Prole, Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Ekphrastic Review, And Other Poems, Obsessed with Pipework and Popshot, as well as in anthologies by Sidhe Press, Black Bough Poetry and Orchard Lea Books. She started writing poetry after studying Creative Writing at the Open University and has been hooked ever since. Many of her poems are inspired by her experience of looking after her mother, who had dementia.

the poems

Simple Hex
For A Slanderer

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Write their name on a piece of paper.

Put it through the shredder.


Place the ribbons in a bowl.

Ignite. Watch them grow


tongues, curl back

and blacken, flaking to ash.


File your nails (the sharper the better)

then clip the tips, sprinkle over.


Add some callus

freshly grated by pumice,


a crust of wax picked from your ear

and one salty tear.


Lubricate the mix

with your own spit


and lashings of mucus

then stir and speak:


Unkind words

will not go unpunished


but form ulcers

yellow and bulbous


tight with pus

on the tongue.

My Father’s Belt

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looped around my waist,

moves when I breathe

like a phantom limb.

The leather cracks,


moves when I breathe.

With bronze lustre

the leather cracks 

as if with laughter.


With bronze lustre,

his face creased 

as if with laughter

as disease spread.


His face creased,

a shifting of skin,

as disease spread

its tightening belt.


A shifting of skin

drawn across bone 

like a tightening belt;

his body buckled.


Drawn across bone

this broad strap

buckles my body

with a strong clasp.


This broad strap

holds me together

with a strong clasp

like my father's arm.


Holding me together;

like a phantom limb

my father's arm

loops around my waist.

Afternoon
Entertainment,
Chamberlain Court

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I wasn’t sure at first

if she was even listening, 

though we sat in rows 

 

in front of the baby grand, 

as the piano man played  

all the old classics. 

 

It was when she closed her eyes 

that it happened -

her hands 

 

started patting her jeans 

in time 

to Over the Rainbow. 

 

Then her fingers 

stood to attention, 

as if remembering: 

 

the coolness of ivory, 

warmth of wood, 

weight of black and white keys. 

 

She leant into the music 

as her right hand rippled 

across her lap 

 

onto my leggings, 

while her left hammered chords 

on the neighbouring gentleman’s knees.  

 

And just when I thought 

I should intervene, 

she opened her mouth and sang 

 

at the top of her voice 

about a blue-skied cloudless world 

where someday, I might find her. 


Publishing credits

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