Emily Critchley

Then you thought me up

taken from Arrangements

But for nothing, which is some poetry,

we would not have

metrically speaking


some kind of root cause or connecting



The bus – which doesn’t have wings

or settle in Greenwich –


because of that park, that sky,

where we each have trod probably

    even the same space at the same time only




Come near

I’m your queen.

Even if you can’t

reason wildly

I’m all for those places

I don’t think we will ever not go

   to or recognize.


There are too many senses

– lexically speaking –

too many meaning-shoots. Then there’s the way you

breeze filmically onto a Poem Scene.


I don’t think, but it does not matter

because when an idea

   is set to spin on its side so

                                              you can still be in exile

commuting cherry blossom.

      Now I know

I’m the highest bidder

   am literally,

                               wasn’t meant to be sung

   on arrival.


   Now that the clouds are pink & an image is wrong

   as something as what is,

you can have it, transactional sense; I exchange for a bark,

                                 a touch of my cold feet,

suspended belief.

        What else can you have

is just that knowledge, just as it is.

    I will share wth yr body of knowledge

       that glows on the water, coming past

      Greenwich,                   closed body of knowledge.


       This is how to respond when –

                       but this is how to negotiate

        once you begin

                       in a future moon


   which – but I can’t be moved

   any more,

not even your prosody bores me.

   I’m lunatic, counting the tide ripples, adding them

                                    up so to see how time made it

                       so far yet we still

and are not quite ready to meet.

An optical device that led to photography. The device consists of

a box or room with a hole in one side

taken from Arrangements

By tracery        fix

-ings shall we call it or

   fizzings by all hell

  or atoms or / smaller than that /

   and colder /

by quarks once you start getting down to it. 


do we grow from love. But we do not grow

      from light, only love

so nastic.



        God that we could raise ourselves up

        out of the cold blueness of judgement,

      be nearly ourselves in

         view of developing reason.

         God that like paper, wedded to marks,

         scrutinized tracings, raw as in

instruments, thorns

    in the desert, doomed trumpet calls

            would she find herself

  but obscured only momently. Or what must he

    do to be perfectly

  not to blame

        in each moment?

           Does he raise it & lower with each new

      game or razing the ground that she

           doesn’t stand



      More clicking required perhaps, more light

      and more


       In world bright as hell

          – in not camera obscura. Our youth

          was that superabundance of stasis.


       And they are over it. Years

          without pride, and / or privilege,

          not even call or / and song.

She has worked for that clearing. Knows her way round a space

       more incisive than thicket.

       Not the forbidden,

       just not the cold shine of exterior lying

                   in morning.

       For she is no goddess! No, nor

                      dog neither.



       How shall she turn

     one to the other, how

     accept a reversal

  from he

     who has shunned the real

                     (pinholes for distance)?

  How accept blood

  that he draws without

thinking afterward.

   The brush it is clearing, cold is it moving

                   through that.

Silver as veins of a moon’s

     eye view.

   Not daring to move a muscle. Not daring neither

          to try nor to lose. Picking apart one

         by each other.

        Fear in an uncertainty principle.

+we must talk very quickly+very quiet

taken from Arrangements

Ah annexed is the day’s waste

and time it vanishes like whenever

there is nothing worth happening going on

i.e. no schedule for tomorrow’s move forward towards death

  • the periodization of money

  • the historical nature of lust.



Ay, and next to you, love is very last

but permanent

   /  displaced? Precisely said, yes.

Yrs is worth the silence of too much said. Yrs is eagerly believable; 

nothing but evidence could possibly break

   through it.



And there were stars

but none of them were out

   / predictable.



In yr dream you did divine water

– did you divide water –

with as much success.

I’ve had enough water to be dreamt,

no matter what else is said or not said.



And we can have no more to do

with one another’s ontologies

of meaning being ’specially not

loving. Or economic mutilation

or adverse wonder. Only live

by what each other once meant

on other subjects;

      larger than imaginings,

      longer as each day goes on. The real condition is:

no development and definitely,

no, not any kind of containment.


Since we must love 

with both hands, all four of us 

on the steering wheel at 

once, the

driving for

-ward’s better ffs since that is 

progress. Makes I

, for instance. Please don’t

kill me all at once

or rock the little plan 

we hijacked

to set sail in in our room of fire. It’s 

very reasonable; everyone 

can sail there too. 

Emily Critchley is the author of several poetry collections, including Arrangements (Shearsman, 2018), Ten Thousand Things (UEA: Boiler House Press, 2017) and a selected writing: Love / All That / & OK (London: Penned in the Margins, 2011). Critchley is editor of Out of Everywhere 2: Linguistically Innovative Poetry by Women in North America & the UK (Reality Street, 2016). She is Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at the University of Greenwich and lives in London with her daughter.