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Alan Kissane



the poet

Alan Kissane is an English teacher in the Midlands, UK, whose poems have appeared in Allegro, Dissonance Magazine, Dust Poetry, Emerge Literary Journal, Epoch, Fahmidan, Kindling and Neologism. He contributed to Acid Bath Publishing’s printed volume, Wage Slaves, and is currently finishing an as-yet-unnamed collection of poems on politics and the self.

the poems

Bonfire of Inanities

00:00 / 01:17

                        I want to build the walls of a house I don’t intend

                        to live in,

                                       just to use my hands.

                        I want to breathe free and easy,     all of the time.

                        It’s not much of a dream

                                       but it’s mine.

                        I want time to guide me forward, again. I’ve had

                                       enough of circles, curves. I don’t

                        understand geometry.

                        I want to see

                            what’s in front of me. To have

                        a ‘no surprises here’         sign

                        tattooed on my eyelid door,      in my clear light


                                             like a worthwhile political slogan.

                        I don’t want to be alone. I’m afraid

                                       of being given   time to think, to feel.

                        I want to read

                        and consume

                                 words grown in fields of     azure    light.


                        I’m jealous of words;

                        the way they       connect and spark like I can’t,

                        with people, resonating within.

                        I don’t want to be crooked        anymore,

                        hunched over

                                                     the weight of my own life.

                        I just want to burn the unnecessary in me,


                                                                   like Savaronola.

In a Glass Case

00:00 / 00:37

              Footsteps, like fingertips, trace

              lines across this worn face,

              back and forth, sometimes

              lost, sometimes not,

              always crisscrossing,

              back and forth,

              like moments or thoughts, sometimes

              lost, sometimes not,

              like butterflies pinned to a board

              in a glass case

              in a museum, beautiful

              yet lonely, untouched, unfree,

              and gazed upon

              in awe before being forgotten.

Up Here With
the Rooks and Ravens

00:00 / 00:48

              She sits in fury,

              her eyes torn from blindness,

              her robe rotten, a reminder of the so-called

              glorious resolution.

              Here the scales have truly fallen

              from her hands, the sword heavy,

              bowed, rusted and bitten

              by the querulous blood of backs slain in the name of


              below, a war

              over numbers and paper:

              nothing and everything.

              This is this land now,

              a stain on a vast leaf of aged parchment

              floating on a lake of unbelief,

              with no way off.

Publishing credits

All poems: exclusive first publication by iamb


S h a r e

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