Foreword Reviews

  • Articles
  • #poetrymonth

Fourteenth Chambers

Editor’s Note: This poem by Noah Wareness is being presented as part of our special focus on poetry during #PoetryMonth in April. Please read our introduction to the series.


Now I understood by some sort of intuition that what I had
been writing was a never-ending story and that the name of
it was “A Ghost Story.“ The names comes from the only
thing that I have learned about all people, that they are
ghostly and that they are sometimes split-off…

R.A. Lafferty

This is not what I look like, I tell them.
Neil Gaiman

Real is the Word
You’ll never be a writer. Same for me.
But only listen: no one ever was.
It’s nothing that a human life can be.

You persevere, you practice on your knees;
you hollow out your life into the cause.
You’ll never be a writer. Same for me.

Read through your grafted lines: at best you see
a ghost look out that’s wiser far than us.
It’s nothing that a human life can be.

They hardly need us, only that we breathe;
and they don’t know us, they don’t give applause.
You’ll never be a writer. Same for me.

Don’t count yourself among them in your greed,
that lineage of nonexistent gods.
It’s nothing that a human life can be.

Don’t turn around and lie how you’re a dream,
some magic fucking dream that jumped the odds.
You’ll never be a writer. Same for me.
It’s nothing that a human life can be.

…they leapt upon each other in their eagerness, tracing figures in the billow of the curtain. A lecturer bent forward in his seat, his oversized brow as round as a soap bubble. As he waved his arms about in endless proclamation, his huge nose bobbled as though it would come off, tipping him to and fro with such force he nearly spilled from the chair. More words gathered at his feet, which is to say within the curtain’s shadow, making him with a mocking audience. Rearing up with backs turned, they bent over to spray the lecturer with clouds of gas, humour swelling at pace with his indignation…


From Real is the Word They Use to Contain Us by Noah Wareness. Published by Biblioasis in 2017.

Foreword Reviews

Load Next Article