Michael Conley was our feature poet in June.
Michael Conley is a teacher from Manchester. His work has been published in a variety of magazines, including Magma, Rialto, Interpreters House, Bare Fiction and New Welsh Review. He came third in he 2014 Bridport Flash Fiction Prize and was shortlisted for the 2015 Melita Hume Prize.
Aquarium, published by Flarestack, is his first pamphlet.
Elizabeth Bishop Knew
how love lurks behind everything
the way a vague ache might squat just behind the eyes
of a longshoreman who woke at four-thirty
and has spoken to nobody all day
the tips of his fingers glowing white
as he grips crate after crate
dreaming that the sea breeze
at the back of his neck is the breath of a sleeping lover;
that there is tenderness even
in the cold slap of fish guts
hitting the bottom of a bucket
in the cathode-ray light
of a Northeastern midwinter morning
a volley of herring-gulls flickering overhead.