Iain Britton

Iain Britton’s first collection of poems – Hauled Head First into a Leviathan – Cinnamon Press (UK), was a Forward Prize nomination in 2008. His second collection Liquefaction was published by Interactive Press (Australia) in 2009. Recently Oystercatcher Press (UK) published his third collection.

Some poems can be accessed via such online magazines as Blackbox Manifold, Nthposition, Ouroboros Review, The Stride Magazine, Shadowtrain, Great Works (UK) Harvard Review, Drunken Boat, Free Verse, Scythe Literary Magazine, BlazeVOX (US) Jacket, Otoliths, Snorkel, foam:e, Cordite, Papertiger, The Retort Magazine (Aust) Poetry NZ and the International Exchange for Poetic Invention. A few forthcoming online publications in the UK & US: Markings, Cake Magazine, The International Literary Quarterly, phati’tude Literary Magazine, The Hamilton Stone Review.



Black Rose



A theme pouts


and a talismanic pendulum


                  ticks      to and fro.




       smear walls.




A black rose        springs up


           centre         stage.


                    Floorboards       shift


and thorns      

                   flake aphrodisiacs.





On stage                        



      she touches my arm

      speaks of doping herself up

      lays eggs in my skin

      curls up in the cup of my hand.





My role:          to collect


wings     abdomens     cocoons


            famous for their spirals

            their twists and turns

            sudden dead-ends.


They gulp at headlines.






A rare find            (darkened by dust)


she reveals a truth

a clutching of hand on heart      


a life form softened by sound.


Butterfly or Not



Vividly inked


on your arm


the shadow of a butterfly


stiffens up


and looks to take off.




Night’s touch


         moistens the house


                 the thinly transparent




                           that go with your walk.


Old eyes          like red-hooded fuchsias


hang from damp parts of your body.




I make a mental note

of what I need from the shop.


You bring blankets     dolls      the preserved bedroom of a mother


an icon stripped of glamour.




If quiet enough


          I hear the unbuckling


                    of a costume


                             a fluttering


dry leaves taking your weight


the sound of a new programme


going to air.



I make a mental note of what you used to look like.