The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Literature from Mexico City

Alistair Noon: 4 Poems Published

Poems by Alistair Noon (UK/ Germany)

Published in Issue 34 of The Ofi Press



Great Uncle in the Great Unknown


The planet's negative develops

on the downside:

incredible heat and the cumulus flies.

Squat on ground whose languages

an empire shouts down.


Cross-legged and goggled

in the black-and-white fifties,

you wait for the wave with the desert

animals in a private costume,

good seats at a general rehearsal.


Ten years to write up the results

and no conclusion

in the four letters of the nucleotides.

It's beyond compensation,

an entry in the family structure.


A dreaming roams the landscape,

television across a night yard.

The plume greets the spotter plane.

Dust and dose

bloom from centre to rim.



The Sock Exchange


I slope off before dawn

in sober clothes, my belt

down to my haunches.


I rummage in funds

of rainbow stripes,

flimsy pull-ons

and Alpine hikers.


In Shanghai they're peeling off

skin-toned ankle-warmers.

In Tokyo they've pulled off

foot-mittens with dedicated

holes for big toes.


It's only a pun of course,

copied by hosiers

in the financial centres.


In emotional scenes today

scores of socks were reunited

for the first time in decades.







Mr Lozančić's Language


Mr Lozančić's language

appeared to me in a dialogue,

line drawings, an earth record,

in letters with odd toppings –


salutes and upturned roofs.

It called in colour codes

for the rituals of travel,

for finding the hill roads


across the summit island

to the Sunday doctor.

Pull on your trunks, it said,

sunshine's our dictator.


It was 80-something and Kosovo

cascaded from the radio,

a 60-minute documentary

before the Underground decade,


and the international instruments

were nowhere Before The Rain.

Mr Lozančić! Come in.

I guess that Split has changed.




Fixing a Clock


This side of Nazareth Church

it's always five past twelve,

while where you stand and wave

it's still five minutes to.


Something seems unright

across our office desk.

Our tensing fingers tap

and tap before they rest.


Something seems unright

beneath the station arches.

The loitering truncheon trio

move on a man on crutches.


This side of Nazareth Church

it's always five past twelve,

while where you're standing, waving,

it's still five minutes to.


Midday or midnight, stairs

might take us to the top

to fix the cogs from inside.


Or else we'll have to climb

into the air and hang

outside from our fingertips.

About the Poet


Alistair Noon was born in 1970 and grew up in Aylesbury, UK. Besides time spent in Russia and China, he has lived in Berlin since the early nineties, where he works as a translator. His work has appeared in magazines including Jacket, Poetry Wales and World Literature Today, anthologies including Sea Pie, Lung Jazz and The Best British Poetry 2013, as well as in several chapbooks and the collection Earth Records, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Michael Murphy Memorial Prize. His hobby is translating Osip Mandelstam.

You can read an interview with the poet in our interview section, here.

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