From the author of Noir, here is a book that’s far from the usual poetry collection. No titles, no contents page. Instead there are hand-drawn illustrations, and poems that build, from one to the next, a rich sense of ‘the girl who cried’.
She circles a house with no door, carrying a heavy frame. She makes demands. At one moment she’s no more than a weary child desperate for a hug—and then she’s an enraged adult brandishing distress.
Through poems and line drawings (Stevie Smith meets R. D. Laing), Charlotte Gann does something truly different. And in the process, she opens up a kind of alienation rarely spoken of, let alone understood. With tenderness and clarity, she invites the girl to tell her story, be welcomed, and be heard.
I drew tiny devils round the house.
I drew them round my hours.
I drew them in pencil on the walls
so small no one noticed they
were there at all.
I drew them on the skirting boards.
I swept the yard
and filled the coal scuttle
in the frightening dark.
And I crept down the garden
far beyond the light that spilled
from the sitting room window
and I shut the bantams in at night
so they weren’t dismembered.
And I polished my father’s shoes
kneeling on newspaper on Sundays.
And I laboured alongside Void
who always looked dishevelled
whom I loved with all my heart—