Poem introduction

I’ve written many poems in a loose variant of a medieval French form called the fatrasie or fatras. This is all about body fat, a subject we are obsessed by but rarely write poems about. Watch out for the typical fatras form of an introductory couplet made up of the first and last line of the ensuing poem.

Vial as I am

Am I not
a casket for bones?
 
Am I not
a keen enough lover to want a vial
of his lost fat, cloudy or clear,
to be worn like a locket
of fading hair?
 
To tie in a ribbon his Body Mass Index
(though this measures fat indistinguishably
from bone and muscle, ligament, blood)?
 
Yet isn’t the living underskin,
itself a carpenter of flux,
a casket for bones.

from Incense (Flarestack Poets, 2010), © Claire Crowther 2010, used by permission of the author

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Claire Crowther

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1Captured Women

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2Wyvern

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3Investigating the Easter Issue

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4Lost Child

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5City of Turns

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6Petra Genetrix

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7Woman, Probably One of the Fates

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8Backpacker

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9Ubi Sunt

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10Names

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11Once Troublesome

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12The Thike

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13Sleeping on a Trampoline

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14The Wildlife of Goodbye

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15Xylotheque

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16A Curse on Your Moider

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17Birthday

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18Snail

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19The Alices

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20Vial As I Am, Tremella Nostoc, Over is Almost All of Lover

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23Alcyone

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24Against the Evidence

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25The Night of Misrule

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26Cheval de Frise

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Books by Claire Crowther