Alistair Noon



The fuzzy dashes fuzzy dots
tapped out on mitochondrial blots
show Lower Saxons steering tractors
share a mound of genetic factors
with local, broken skeletons
found round hearths for forging bronze.

Only the bovine liked to roam,
while most of us just worked from home.
But still, our longitudinal tests
across the millennia suggest
that even those who don’t migrate
across the mountains may mutate.

The old man in the next door flat,
brownshirt, turned Christian Democrat,
then Social. Oh he drank drank drank.
But his bedroom sink always stank
whether he’d tapped in Havana ash
or stumbled towards a night-time slash.

ALISTAIR NOON‘s first full-length collection Earth Records is available from Nine Arches Press and was shortlisted for the Michael Murphy Memorial Prize. Surveyors’ Riddles, a collaboration with Giles Goodland, is forthcoming from Sidekick Books. He lives in Berlin.

Read more work by Alistair Noon:

Three more poems in B O D Y
Translation of Osip Mandelstam in B O D Y
Earth Records
Reviewed by Peter Riley
Archive of the Now