Graham Clifford has been published widely, internationally and nationally, featured in such magazines as the Rialto and Magma, and has won or been commended in awards and competitions such as the Arvon, Bridport and Forward poetry prizes. Graham has performed at the Aldeburgh, Hay on Wye and Bridport Literary Festivals, among many others.
Graham’s writing has drawn praise from poets as diverse and highly regarded as Stephen Dunn, Simon Armitage, Andrew Motion, Michael Laskey and Denise Riley.
I am simply the latest to come to you
with my frantic efforts at restarting your heart,
adrenaline-breath in through the lips
that Baudelaire compared to La Joconde’s.
Everything burns internally when
I Google you, for images only, everything
since they fished you from the Seine
by the Quai de Louvre, causing a hole
in humanity; we couldn’t cope with
this loss. Countless corporations
and attempts we have made on your likeness,
inconnu. Smiling and concentrated,
black and white and in high def,
in water, on land,
scenarios and death masks,
the rucksack of Baby Annies
you gave birth to; decapitated-you
French kissed; a trunk, you goad us
implying you could still be reanimated
if we keep thumping on your improved chest
more lifelike in its trademark death.
Perhaps it is this handing on
that is the saving, Anne. A toy maker
and a doctor made you. Breathe. 1,2,3…
Nearly Normal Dream
There was nothing to my dream, except
there were two of everything.
Two double basses; two soups.
When I had to leave you both again
and opened the doors
two brutal worlds rejected my double efforts.
I woke up drenched by twice the sadness.
Where my other heart was ached.