A Bit of an Ice Breaker:
Selected and Uncollected Poems by James Nash
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'I’m racing to beat the twilight
as it hangs itself like damp washing
in the trees...'
VP0028 // Published: 12th April 2012
A Bit of an Ice Breaker is a selection of the very best poetry from acclaimed Leeds-based writer James Nash. The poet has sifted through his first two collections, Deadly Sensitive and Coma Songs, and chosen some particular favourites to be made available (for the first time) in ebook form - along with a sprinkling of recently commissioned, previously uncollected work.
In their new, less crowded incarnation, Nash’s poems speak clearly of his interests and obsessions; these are writings of comic embarrassment, of close relationships, of birth and death. Vulgarity sits close to tender love poems, poetry is discussed with taxi-drivers, while no-one protests at drunken sexual activity in a crowded north Leeds sitting room.
From the author's introduction: 'Though some of the poems selected might be, like me, showing their age a little, I hope, as always, that the words are enough.' James Nash's latest collection, Some Things Matter: 63 Sonnets, is also available now from Valley Press.
They ask me to go to the cinema with them,
and I go, touched that as a couple
they are prepared to share.
I sit with them,
all of us munching and chatting,
not feeling at all like a gooseberry
until the film starts
and they somehow get closer,
and while they are watching
occasionally touch each other on the leg.
It looks nice, friendly even;
I consider for a moment just joining in,
putting my hand on one of their knees,
but stop myself just in time.
Then I look at the legs of strangers down the row
and wonder whether they would like it.
It could be a bit of an ice-breaker.
But I rein myself in;
and instead touch one of my own legs,
and rub it lightly in a clockwise direction.
It feels surprisingly good;
but just in case anyone is looking,
I pat my leg fiercely
and stamp my foot down hard
as if I’ve got
pins and needles.
James Nash is a writer and poet. A long-term resident of Leeds, he is a well known
provider of creative writing workshops in schools, universities and in the community... (read more)