Nicola Bray: Featured Poet



Blue Concrete

I mean it starts off small as a pillowcase,
the slow unmaking of a bed,
creases in an argument –
the way it is when things go wrong and suddenly
a ripped sheet’s as good as slamming a door –
there’s a good deal of movement in this row.

When you describe the gypsy man
you say he has no teeth, I don’t believe you –
anyway, call it what you will,
your pre-fuck discussion’s a shifty flyer –
that gypsy bloke’s legging everybody over.

I don’t have a word for love,
if that sounds twee, make sense of moons
make sense of me cast from blue concrete
but not here, not in this grubby motel –
sometimes I surprise myself!

I should never have booked La Marinade,
but the overriding need to compartmentalise
is counting in salami slices
opening doors a kilo lighter
and the place is empty except for the rang tang
of last night’s pans.

You appear wiping your hands on old reviews.
I couldn’t leave – I mean what if I’m the only diner
leaving you to cut your throat
over 28 day old steak… breaking my heart.


Nicola Bray lives in London with her partner, five sons and menagerie of cats and dogs. A graduate of the Royal Holloway Creative Writing MA, she runs poetry groups on acute psychiatric wards and recently launched a hospital magazine which she edits. Her work has appeared in various magazines.

1 thought on “Nicola Bray: Featured Poet”

  1. Great to see this poem at The Shed, Nic. It showcases your usual fine & assured poetic skills – very expertly balanced between arresting images intertwined with the narrative. I get to feel inside the speaker’s head – yet you make me consider different possibilities and how I feel about them. The title is perfect – full of connotations, weighty. Thanks.

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