Archive

Red brick and ivy in shadow and sun:

the sun makes crude annotations on stone

as I shelter in the shadows’ margin,

 

reluctant to open the heavy oak door

and climb the worn, unfamiliar stairs

to an attic library where the sweltering air

 

is thick with disruptions. Every paper-

stuffed box hoards invisible mysteries

of skin, sloughed off from each interloper.

 

Now which is you and what is other?

The patterns of ink on each paper are

Rorschach blots of artful disorder.

 

I remember a spider in amber, the bubbles

Of air as if it breathed still in its jewel

world, the inclusions of plant and animal

 

matter, the past, scattered and miniature,

lifted from the primeval forest floor.

It passed from one hand to another.


from Not in this World (Bloodaxe, 2015), © Tracey Herd 2015, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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1What I Wanted

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2What I Remember

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3Glass House

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4Archive

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5Memoirs

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6Brigadoon

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7Louise Brooks

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8Not Fade Away

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9The First Blonde

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10Breakfast at Tiffany’s

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11Bombshell

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12Black Swan

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13The Living Library

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14Sheep

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15Not James Dean

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16The Buddy Holly Trilogy: Near Clearlake, Iowa

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17The Buddy Holly Trilogy: Five Seconds

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18The Buddy Holly Trilogy: The Music Men

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19A World with Only One Song

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20Dreams of Lost Summers and Found Lines

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21The Survivors

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22The Bathing Girls

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23Just One Request

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24The Siege

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25The Fortune Teller

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26Happy Birthday

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27The Unicorn Seat

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28Coronach

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29Sir Ivor

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30Ruffian

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31Lyric Fantasy

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32Spring in the Valley of the Racehorse

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33The Afternoon Shift are Leaving the Port Talbot Steelworks

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34Calling Card

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Books by Tracey Herd