Two poems by Julia Webb

Radio Nights

I slide down deep beneath the covers

output may be subject to further
interruptions on the subject of snow

turn dials by torchlight
prop the heavy radio

knobs for eyes,
large square battery for heart

on bent knees
the nylon sheet crackles with static

imagine Luxembourg as a party shape
at the far side of the car park

the blue vinyl of the radio
like a cheese grater

music shreds itself into slivers,
drops down between the pillow and the wall

sentences left hanging

(first published in The Interpreter’s House, Autumn 2016)


we are a nation of rolling bins and cats in various colours
flame days are Mondays only and entail much blocking off
rain glues itself to the roofs shouting what is this shiny wet
pavement craves burst of hot so it can burn itself up
night moons up over the rooftops singing in owl voices
slowly brightens itself with baubles and tinsel
cloud fogs the horizon orange streetlight candles only
here come the small engines eating up the street
walk your bird here you are welcome but don’t let it off the lead
and be sure to bag up its difficult children
this is a smeary neighbourhood at the best of times
hearts smash into one another beneath quilts and blankets
phones shout themselves sick with worry
something is night barking at the apex of the garden
pack up your fox tails missus       best to leave quietly

(an earlier version published in Smeuse, summer/autumn, 2017)

Julia Webb is one of the founding editors of Lighthouse Literary Journal and a graduate of UEA’s poetry MA. She lives in Norwich where she teaches creative writing. She has had work in various journals and anthologies including Magma, The Rialto, Ambit, Envoi, Oxford Poetry and Butcher’s Dog. In 2011 she won the Poetry Society’s Stanza competition. Her poem was ‘Sisters’ was highly commended in the 2017 Forward Prize. Her first collection Bird Sisters was published by Nine Arches Press in 2016. Her second collection Threat will be published by Nine Arches in 2019. Twitter @Julwe1