Sarah Cave: extracts from Read the Red

‘Who gave me language?’ asks Alice. 

Cookie Monster
Nietzsche shrugs carries on eating cookies.

Elmo Tolstoy begins: ‘Early maps of Alicia denote creative process seen
through the gap between shirt buttons
and noted as responses to marginalia, impressionist taproots
shredded by arrows, doodles, hoes becoming lecturers’
notes, prose fragments, spiralling patterns and haphazard

‘I am what I’d call a practising Atheist…’ – Big Bird Dave Allen (comedian)

‘The church habitually seeks to de-emphasise the radical word of Christ.’ – Someone-or-other.
‘Fuckers’ – Big bird Dave Allen (comedian)

‘Read the red,’ – Elmo Tolstoy, mid-genuflect

Post-coital Tolstoy  
lights a cigarette                                                
tells me it would
be best to separate
academic witticism
from poetry and then
He and I might
be able to get beyond
the physical.

Is that supposed to be funny, asks Pseudo-Dionysus of Areopagite?

Schopenhauer shrugs.

When Schopenhauer says he hates women
Alice believes him.
When Nietzsche says he hates women
Alice assumes he’s flirting,
blushes, Alice knows he’d do anything to laugh
and joke about existence
with her but she must be careful not to ask
him to dance, or

his flesh will turn to rose petals

Sarah Cave

Sarah is a writer, academic, artist and editor (@Guillemot Press). Sarah has published two full-length collections – Perseverance Valley (2019) and An Arbitrary Line (2018) – and several pamphlets, artists’ books and collaborations including like fragile clay (1st ed. 2018 and 2nd ed. 2021), The Merits of Tracer Fire (2020)and A Confusion of Marys (2020). Sarah’s work has been featured in various magazines, anthologies exhibitions, festivals and reading series. Sarah is completing a practice-based PhD at Royal Holloway on queer prayer and contemporary poetic practice, as well as teaching at the University of Plymouth. 

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