Come October, it was What to expect: the first
year, Sue Gerhardt’s Why love matters, which I LOVED
and thought should be compulsory or handed out
for free, and How not to f*** them up, which was kind of
reassuring. April, it was back to
Joseph Heller’s Picture this, because I had to. Closed
and shifting in my skinny bag, I didn’t even have to
open it. Just to know it was there. August, September, another
October. On my desk I’ve got Into the deep street:
seven modern French poets, Muldoon’s Plan B,
Boccaccio’s Decameron. For months I’ve been reading
none of them. The other day,
I put them on the unvacuumed floor, one on top
of the other, like an unbalanced bust or a worn-out torso,
the way things look after a rather wakeful night. A sort-of nest.
I pressed the weight of my head into the covers
for an uninterrupted doze or thought
or a few-seconds of I’m not even sure what.
What I’d been before, perhaps.

First published in Magma Poetry #53, Summer 2012.

Competing Interests

The author declares that they have no competing interests.

Author Information

Stav Poleg ( is a Cambridge-based writer. Her poetry has been published in literary journals such as Poetry Ireland Review, The Rialto, Magma, Poetry Wales and New Welsh Review, and is featured in Be the First to Like This: New Scottish Poetry (Vagabond Voices, 2014). She was shortlisted for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award (2014 and 2015). Her theatre work has been performed at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, the Greenwich Theatre and the Shunt Vaults, London, and her graphic-novel piece Dear Penelope (with artist Laura Gressani) was acquired by the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in 2014.