Two poems by Janet Rogerson

(for them)

My girl’s not mine, hers, insanely heart sharp,
heart shaped face, kissy, kind through tunnel
of missing teeth, deep dark hugs, wants a job
colouring pictures of god, don’t play the blink-
ing game with her, she laughs like a thousand

And blue, clinging you, close very close
finds his place behind my fringe, can I can I
can I, eight kiss boy, eternally his turn, can it
not be banned? keeper of the secret, so hard
the words, to remember, you’re getting it though,

I’m hungry, I’m hungry, what flavour? it was
by an accident, it doesn’t hurt, I didn’t, it wasn’t
me, blue-eyed injustice, too big hand in mine,
soft smell of summer head, duck feather head,
heart, startled sorry, here’s a tenner for the

Not mine too, another girl, oh her eyes roll
love love love her lovely rolling eyes, dark
they are, big knowing, grown-up joking, what’s
for snack? she says that’s not music it’s just
shouting, our words are spinning, you sweet are
(published in The Rialto, 2014)
A bad influence girl

is sampling a department store. She takes my hand,
leads me into traffic just as it starts to breathe again.
She runs, pulling me through five lanes
throwing her head back laughing
like she’s just turned sausages to gold
and is wearing a string of them around her neck.

At the pavement she does a double somersault
not letting go of my hand.
I’m on my back looking up at her, she says
get up silly no time for snoozing
we have to go to Pinks
the biggest dog store in London.

Back at her house the bad influence girl
flings open the refrigerator
to a chorus line of ready-mixed Mojitos,
then slams it shut with a rattle and shiver
from the accommodating, self-portrait shoulders
of dozens of photographs of the B.I.G.

She snaps clips and more clips into my hair
my head is heavy under their artillery.
She says what do you think of Gaga of Gaga
of Gaga? Don’t you just love her?
Love her shoes? She’s so out there.

She looks down and disapproves.

The bad influence girl says no time to lose
I’ve got to get that puppy before the store
closes, and I must buy some cute little clothes
with tail holes. Have another Mojito
if you want to and scratch some tunes
and let’s catch up again sometime soon.

(published in the pamphlet A Bad Influence Girl, The Rialto, 2012)
Janet Rogerson is from the North West of England. She is currently in the final months of a PhD at the University of Manchester. Magazine publications include: The Rialto, The North, Under the Radar, Stand, The Moth, The Interpreter’s House, Obsessed with Pipework, Tears in the Fence and The Dark Horse. Her pamphlet, A Bad Influence Girl is published by The Rialto. Twitter: @janet_rogerson