Dr Becky Cullen is interested in the connections between temporality, text and time. Her research considers the textual intersections of theories of history, duration and the moment in poetry. Her poetry has been published in various journals; her pamphlet Majid Sits in a Tree and Sings was a winner of the Poetry Business International Book and Pamphlet competition. Her work also features in Carcanet’s New Poetries VII.
‘I became my own obituary’ – Sartre, Les Mots
I took my usual route to the stalls between Southwark Bridge and Waterloo. I was after something short and French – poetry, perhaps. The sun seemed here to stay, on the heels of weeks of being undecided. I was due to start a job the following morning and for the first time since the war ended, I would have a salary. There was a breeze.
Although my brogues were thin-soled, I’d buffed them to a high shine. My hat was cheap, but it had a fetching brim. For a second, I imagined my survivors would retrace my steps, Ah! This is where he walked and tried, heard them speak kindly of my splutter of unimpressive arcs.
We’d been there times and times before – our heads inclined, a book divided on our upturned palms. And now we met; the river light molten in your hair. I hid my frayed tie in my sweater. You hold a water-marked Verlaine. I give myself away.
from Majid Sits in a Tree and Sings (Sheffield: Smith|Doorstop, 2018)