Jean Sprackland

Jean Sprackland’s Sleeping Keys was published in 2013.

Poem: ‘CCTV’

Jean Sprackland, 2 June 2016

Exalted on towers and posts and fitted with articulated necks that tilt, cock and swivel like the necks of owls, silent and absolute.

Like owls, they have a zealous gaze that does not falter, through no matter how long a night. Unlike owls they sometimes hunt in pairs or threes,

perched at the corner of a flat roof, protected in cages or bulletproof housing, some with a mohican of spikes....

Poem: ‘April’

Jean Sprackland, 21 April 2016

machine of spring with all your levers thrown to max clouds in ripped clothes and sheep trailing afterbirth where last week’s buds sucked blue juice from the dusk now the branch is swollen     priapic cherry bling and hawthorn sex-bed smell motorway hedgerows on thrust      electric rapefields

your levers are jammed and nothing can...

Three Poems

Jean Sprackland, 22 October 2015


Seeing the grey abbreviated bodies of military aircraft at the edge of a field, I remember at once the dismantled flies in the corner of the playground. I would sneak back when the committee had gone, to see if the engines had stopped and to inspect the exhausted machinery. I didn’t dare touch, but when I held my finger close I could feel the molecules of air still stirring...

Two Poems

Jean Sprackland, 4 June 2015


Stumbling under the kapok tree, fevering between its cathedral buttresses, I am loster than lost in a place where every known sound has its counterpart:

tap dripping into a metal bucket, fluorescent tube about to blow, the flicking of switches, the tuning of radios, a tent unzipped – the jungle crawls with spies –

and I’m looking for the kind of nest you can find...

Poem: ‘Sleeping Keys’

Jean Sprackland, 20 June 2013

Printed with old roses or tartans and thistles, there’s a biscuit tin like this in every house. Prise off the lid and catch the flinty scent of old keys, decommissioned and sleeping.

Like unspent francs, Deutschmarks and drachmas they accumulate here, inert and futureless, though each in its time was powerful: precision-cut on a wheel of sparks.

Tip them out on the table in the empty...

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