Wordview 2022: Boy cut

I’ve cut off my hair. 

Wear trousers for men. 

Stalk the room like a wolf near a rival’s den. 

So thin I don’t need a bra. 

My tits cannibalistic. 

 

The barber wouldn’t cut it 

So I found a girl who could. 

The boys at the flat don’t like it. 

Say they prefer it long. 

Sure. I bet you would. 

 

It’s twenty years before my father dies 

And I’ve already overtaken him. 

 

I circle the room while people 

Take what they won’t offer me. 

Small towns of bottled water 

Sprawl conurbations across the floor. 

Triples run in threes; the room shrinks. 

 That boy I didn’t want but thinks 

He disappointed me looks so gauche 

With his girlfriend from home. 

 

Someone who lectures me sits on the floor. 

Later he’ll go home with a girl. 

Boundaries aren’t something they’ve figured yet. 

I walk past people but don’t stop to talk. 

They’ve got the door, I owe them for my entrance. 

 

My body is the best it’s ever been. 

Did I tell you I cut off my hair. 

I stood in the mirror before we left. 

My body is breathtaking. Completely awake. 

They can’t see me. 

The boys can’t see me. I’m wearing their clothes. 

My body is the best it’s ever been. 

Poem recorded as part of Poetry Archive Now: Wordview 2022. Used by permission of author.

Wordview 2022 Winners

Poetry Archive Now! was established in 2020 to enable us to gather recordings from a much wider pool of talented poets from the UK and ...

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Pamela Crowe

Pamela Crowe is an artist and writer working across performance, text and voice. Her work has been published in The Poetry Society's Poetry News and Spelt Magazine, commended in the Winchester Poetry Prize 2022, shortlisted for the Bridport Poetry Prize and longlisted in the National Poetry Competition. Her pamphlet THE BELL TOWER is published with The Emma Press.

A special thank you to our WordView 2021 poets.

Chair of the Judging Panel, Joelle Taylor, says: "We were thrilled by the range and scope of the poetry and techniques explored throughout the wide submissions. I have said before that to write a poem is an act of resistance but to then perform it as well is a revolution. It takes a bravery to face the page, and a further one to stand by your words. While we’ve all become more used to filming ourselves over the pandemic, all of us were deeply aware of that courage.

Often when on a judging panel we find ourselves faced with impossible decisions. If you can imagine, after sifting, it’s as though a hundred people have crossed the finish line at precisely the same moment but there are only three medals. How do we come to these decisions? Through the objective unpicking of the poems, through our individual passions, through a consideration of narratives, especially those lesser heard. We come to it through uneasy negotiation and through heart, and above all through our shared love and understanding of the possibilities of poetry.

Our honest applause goes to all who submitted, and I hope you can hear it.

Congratulations to those we selected. We hope to see you all again soon."

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