27 April 2020

Poem of the Week: 'Shipwreck' by Claudine Toutoungi

Posted by John Clegg

Claudine Toutoungi's first collection, Smoothie, was published in 2017; Two Tongues will follow this autumn. As well as poetry, she writes plays for stage and radio.


Leitmotifs of gorgeous hempen verisimilitude cower in the corners
of the frigate where the obstreperous raven insists upon itself. Gloom-
mongers cheer but others of us are far more interested in the scaly
bone-crunching worms causing surface tension and the small molecules
of green. I know I should do something with the torso and the teeth but
wherefore and to what end? How to triangulate the coordinates in some
meaningful equation that eases both soul and synovial fluid and does not
dismay the lank polypi about the rafters nor agitate the herculean molluscs
festooning the poop. Sideswipes won’t be tolerated nor lichen permitted
to rot the public weal in clumps. The Sleeper, be assured, sleeps.