Three poems by Martin Corless-Smith

Martin Corless-Smith

From Bitter Green (Fence Books, 2015; Buenos Aires Poetry, 2022, translated by Graciela Gugliemone and Patricio Ferrari, preface by Cole Swensen).



ouvrir ouvrir the nightingale
how has it come to this?
love a severed foot
cattled in the guts
a trifle flipped
love is a tree of apricots
all rotted
I can see
it breathe I think
how has it come to this?
the fruit my bliss disdained
a trifle shattered in the breeze


A note on Absence

The story over having wished it otherwise

The water surface/friendship

The drunk euphoric

Good Friday music

Not in this lifetime

A fig tree grows

No miserable deed will do

Space and time, dimensions that just bring more of this

For everyone who has a nose

Show gratitude

A king sat in a box

8 pm. Friday

rain defeating snow

a space too narrow to pass through

(Late of the Moscow Poems)

Her revolutionary boyfriend says:

Silence!
The crow reckons
In its comic attire
You walk like an asshole!
Old man.
I'm so tired before
I'm even born.
The Sun can't make it
This winter
We'll have to make do with this bucket
And a bottle of vodka
You say you are unjappy
Well what would happiness be
You seem to enjoy it whatever it is.
And your pants are tight
And you get fucked
The cloud wilst past
My door—and again
The light returns—opens
Like a fridge I'm in.

Martin Corless-Smith

Martin Corless Smith is a poet, literary translator, essayist, and painter. He was born and raised in Worcestershire (West Midlands), England. He studied painting at the University of Reading before travelling to the United States in 1989 where he continued his visual studies and received an MFA in Art from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. In 1993 he formally began his literary studies, obtaining an MFA in Poetry from the University of Iowa and a PhD in Creative Writing & English Literature from the University of Utah. Author of numerous titles, his most recent books of poetry include Bitter Green (Fence Books, 2015), The Fool & The Bee (Shearsman Books, 2021), and The Ongoing Mystery of the Disappearing Self (SplitLevel Texts, 2021). His translations include Odious Horizons: Some Versions of Horace (Miami University Press, 2019). He is also the author of a novel, This Fatal Looking Glass (SplitLevel Texts, 2015) and a collection of essays, The Poet's Tomb (Parlor Press, 2020). He teaches Creative Writing at Boise University where he founded the Free Poetry imprint, publishing chapbooks since 2006 and books beginning in 2020.

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