Posts Tagged ‘sci fi poetry’

New poem: The flirt

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Night sky.
(Photo credit)

I’ve been writing loads of new poems on my Northwest Pacific Coast road trip, and I’ve been itching to share. This is the most recent! A sci fi poem! Also about manipulative men! And the erosion of women’s self esteem! Cheery, right? See what you think.

The flirt

Each instance of it hit me
like a hot rock, flung from some
deep reach of space, a place
I’d never charted.
I’d never seen such a man
up close, because
women like me aren’t usually
allowed. He had a face I knew
would improve with age –
a weapons-grade smile – his gaze
hauled me out of safe orbit.
This can’t be happening
I told myself, every asteroid
more devastating than the last.

I spent decades getting here.
I pushed the little craft of myself
out past the markered reaches,
followed star after star.
What I made wasn’t beautiful,
but god, it was strong – I’d built
a body I thought I could live in
without burning it down.
He had other ideas, though
I didn’t know them.
What did he want me for?
Target practice: the glare
of his attention a smatter
all over my radar.

I fell light-years in the wrong
direction. I spun out,
all my tools gone. Now
I can’t patch my rig
well enough to leave
as the stars harden
in the autumn sky.
I’ve become so weak
I can’t read them –
impervious, that’s
what I thought I was.
Now can’t even
lift my face
and look up.



I wrote a book of poems! It’s called This changes things, and you can order it here! You can also support me by checking out the many sweet and sparkly things at Edinburgh Vintage, my Etsy-based store for jewellery and small antiques. Or if you just want to say hi, you can find me on Twitter.

I wrote some stuff you might like to read.

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

My review of Kerry Hardie

So, I mentioned last week that I wrote a review of Kerry Hardie’s most recent collection, The Oak & The Ash & The Wild Cherry Tree for The Edinburgh Review Issue 136. You can now buy the issue online! BUT, you can also read my review free and gratis — the folks at Gallery Press liked it so much that they put it on their website. Thanks folks!

The UFOlogists podcast

You may also remember me writing a few weeks ago about the launch of sci-fi poetry anthology Where Rockets Burn Through: Contemporary Science Fiction Poems From The UK? I was super-chuffed to have three poems in it, and I’m even more super-chuffed that the folks over at Nature picked one of them to go in their “Where Rockets Burn Through” podcast this week. Thanks again!


Aaaand this is a bit of a scary one, but I am proud of myself for writing it and chuffed that it was published at xoJane, which is rapidly becoming one of my all-time favourite sites. I’ve written here before (but then destroyed the link in post-publication-panic) about my teenage struggles with a rather extreme form of thanatophobia. It seemed pertinent to write about it in a rather more serious way, given the recent OBSESSIVE APOCALYPSE HYPE that I’m sure you’ve all noticed. Of course, the world didn’t end yesterday — hooray! But I wanted to draw attention to this anyway. And for the first time ever, I connected to a fellow thanatophobia sufferer (in the comments), so double hooray!

Happy holidays!


You can also visit Read This Press for poetry and typewriter paraphernalia! Alternatively, check out Edinburgh Vintage, our sister site. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at] I reply as swiftly as I can!