Luke Kennard



In 1967 Cain killed the author.
This was a disaster for everyone.

Now language is a prison,
true communication is impossible,
our deepest desires remain eternally frustrated.

We are the flies nutting the closed window
next to the open window.

The mark of Cain is something thought disgusting
at a particular time in a particular culture for a particular reason.
Bring on the border-control puns,
the novel-length slurs, the other hands.

Our best efforts get edited down to silence;
I mean Biblical silence: the sound of a book with very thin pages closing.
LUKE KENNARD is a poet and writer of fiction who was born in Luton in 1981. He won an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 2005 and his first collection of prose poems The Solex Brothers was published later that year by Stride. His second collection The Harbour Beyond the Movie was published by Salt in 2007 and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection, making him the youngest writer ever to be shortlisted. His most recent collection A Lost Expression was released in 2012 alongside an experimental short story, Holophin which won the Saboteur Novella award that year. His fiction and poetry criticism has appeared in Poetry London, the Times Literary Supplement and The National. He has a PhD in English from the University of Exeter and lectures at the University of Birmingham. In 2014 he was named one of the Next Generation Poets by the Poetry Book Society.

Read more work by Luke Kennard:

Another poem in B O D Y
Information and links at Poetry International
Extract from Luke Kennard’s book The Migraine Hotel at The Cultural Pick
Poem at And Other Poems