Poem in Which Go I

There but for the conciliatory haze of fiction go I.
There but for the crazy kindness of strangers 
go our crises of identity. There
but for the salt wind off the sea
goes the gold-drenched memory of 1992’s
family holiday. There but for the graze of fog go we.

There but for the winnowing of Yahweh
go so many of our quaintest folk-statuettes. There
but for the faintest sense of justice
goes the conciliatory haze of fiction. There but for the
uncomfortable persistence of humanity
goes the neighbourhood.

There but for the harrowing frequency of laundry-days
goes the grace of god. There but for the slough of despond
goes our Christian. There but for one specific curtain of
palm-fronds goes the amber clarity of our faith.

There but for the goes of going walks our lord. There
but for the gauze of saying so goes all.

Joey Connolly

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Poem in Which 2003 Called

The year of our lord 2001 called, it wants its
catastrophic obsessions back. And the ancient Greeks,
they called, they want their queer monopoly

on hubris back, the sense of a graceful
decline. Yes, the lords of the arena called,
they want their two main types of roar returned.

The bargain bins at Lidl called
for the awful cut of that
herringbone skirt. Oil called. It wants its

mystique back, its greasy rainbows
and its incredible profusion. Certain memories
of France called, they want back their faces,

angling and happy and dismissed. Ribs called. They want
their baby back, as do we all. Memory in general also
is being demanding, pointing to some lumpen object

on a platter, covered by a handkerchief.
And all of your pillows called, they want
last summer back, the dry heat

peeling luxuriously away
from ordinary walls in the fine triple-filtered density
of the light. Last summer all over

again. The Iraq War also called, it needs
its riches. A consortium of bedside tables called.
They want their lipsalve and the keys.

Your top ten most visited websites called,
demanding substantial childcare provisions.
Your mother called, also. Your second favourite song is called

‘I Want You Back’. The notion
of passing time is drawing your attention
to a certain sense of lack. We received a fax

from 1991, but couldn’t bear to face it.
Your sense of utter destitution
called. It wants your body back.

Joey Connolly

Chekhov’s Gun

From a train, she passes how all things pass, wrapped
in their instants, messy and simple as the as-yet unlooked-at

complication, under the sign for a rail-station named Marsden –
which is like the surname of a first love, from

before I understood, like now – standing alone,
the inscrutable woman, all cheekbones

and short hair, and red polkadots rapped onto their white,
her hand raised to rest – perhaps briefly – against her cheek. Life,

for Chekhov, is neither horrible, nor happy,
but strange-unique-fleeting-beautiful-awful, according to Gerhardie

in this book I was reading before I shot by and saw the lee
of the sign for Marsden. And for me, also – and for me.


Joey Connolly

Coming soon in Poems in Which Issue 4

The editors are delighted to announce the contributors for Issue 4:

Lutz Seiler translated by Alexander Booth

Melissa Lee-Houghton

Mark Waldron

Abigail Parry

Emma Hammond

Bobby Parker

Anat Zecharia translated by Irit Sela

Josephine Corcoran

Dollie Stephan

Samuel Prince

Francine Elena

Nicola Gledhill

Fiona Moore

Paul Stephenson

John Canfield

Alexander Speaker

Martha Sprackland

Eireann Lorsung

Joey Connolly

Anna Selby

Sarah Wedderburn

Karl Smith

Giles Goodland

and new artwork from Sophie Gainsley