The Tall Lighthouse

Josephine Corcoran

Josephine Corcoran was born in Southport, Lancashire,

and grew up there and in South London.  She now lives

in Wiltshire where she is involved in community Literature

projects.  Her work as a short story writer and playwright

has been broadcast on BBC R4.  She studied writing at

Chichester University and UEA.


The Misplaced House

£5.00 - ISBN: 978-1-904551-94-2

How to Keep Spare Keys from The Misplaced House

Take nothing but one slice of bread
from the first house, spread it with butter

from the next, dress
in clothes shoved in plastic bags
curled up by bins. Your new life begins.
Sleep in attics. Spy through cracks
in doors, scavenge down the backs of sofas,

when reading inscriptions don’t snap the spines
of books. Look at wedding gifts stored in cupboards,

drink leftover wine. You’ll see the tiny maps
of gravy, the wood lice, dried up, where they keep
the sharpened knives. Slit no ladies’ stomachs,

cut no throats, sell no babies
on the internet, feed pets. Restlessness

will take you to jewellery stores
and flower shops. On ocean liners,
in locked-up ballrooms, save yourself
the first waltz. Moonbathe along deserted decks.
On scorching days a butcher’s meatsafe

provides relief. In bitter weather

stroke discreet restaurant cats.
Find the names of unborn children

on the backs of lost receipts.

Some of us understand
why our past plays out in films and books,

need to look behind curtains before
we go to sleep, keep quiet about our dreams:

the clarity of jam-jars left on windowsills,
the nudity of a hook, the feeling
we’re being looked for, inside a rose bush,
in a tea caddy, under a stone.

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