Maria Sledmere





When you are close to someone sleeping, you realise

there is always a pulse, a constant quiver.

Not quite insect-like, but a humming motion

that draws you in for its soft, kinetic warmth.

There is a pleasure to submittable manipulation, to long drawn

talks at four to six in the morning. Nothing else

is quite worth living for, not the star chips of ice

nor a slice for the sake of colour. It was a wonderful splash.

What goes deep are the secret roots, things

you can’t identify in strangers. I could brush my thumb

with yellow pen, grow luminous and sing

for the sake of maple faces, lovely money.

It doesn’t get much better than the thought of him

curled cat-like in self-protection, even the strong curves

contribute to vulnerability. Toasted curls. As if

you could crush with ribs the worry. My eyes

are not green like his, except on sunny days

with lilac shadow. Up north, the weather is colder

and rain falls slow like a limited sand preserved in an hour-glass

waiting to land and instate new worlds.

The architecture there is all towering shadow.

He says, as we part: it’s not home, it’s not home.

If it’s death you prefer, the honest work of mourning.

In the morning it is all different: while I still pick

cotton candy from the fringe of my senses,

he panics blindly. Walking back alone

with the shakes, my arabesque breath of whisky

warmed, I recall only the faint vibration

of his lashes, later the frustrated tying of laces

as if tightening string could solve things.

It is a miracle, if only useless, turned over

as the variant sapphire latticing

of the night impressed by milk light, by day

and ever the implications of ever.




“I was interested in how ‘intransitive’ might be a procrastinatory directive for desire, a sense of skewing the perceptive lines.  This is a landscape poem, a love poem that resides in the space between objects, loosening the cooled ink of impossible spirit.  In these lines I hope there’s a sense of climatic strangeness, an attunement to sensory oscillations which divert the self across itself in the act of reading/writing.”









Maria Sledmere (MA, MLitt) is a Glasgow-based writer and critic.  She is founder of Gilded Dirt, an online publication centred on the poetics of waste, is assistant editor of the post-internet poetry zine, SPAM, and a regular contributor to music blogs Ravechild and GoldFlakePaint.  Recently she collaborated with producer Lanark Artefax on a new materialist-inspired exhibition titled The Absent Material Gateway, sponsored by the Red Bull Music Academy.  Recent work can be found in Adjacent Pineapple, Datableed, L’Éphémère Review, Fluland, From Glasgow to Saturn, Numéro Cinq, Occulum, Thistle Magazine and Zarf.  She tweets @mariaxrose.