New Voices First Pamphlet Award winner
Imogen Osborne won her Award in our New Voices competition competition in 2021. Her first collection, New Year, is due to be published as a pamphlet by Frosted Fire in the autumn.
Imogen grew up in a haunted house in Bristol, then studied English Literature at Cambridge. She now works in London. Her writing has been published in Aurelia Magazine, Porridge Magazine, Perhappened Mag and elsewhere.
Below are poems from Imogen’s forthcoming pamphlet
Foxlike, forward without reason
I wake to the sound of foxes holding sermons in the dark,
a scraping noise: they are dragging dregs of day
towards the motorway
worshipping plastic now the woods have gone.
It’s all out there swaying, the new streets
in their unbound form.
Knowledge is the houseboats smudged
black against night. I think if you looked now
the swans would be there still, bleached like bone,
for those who care to look over the edge.
They are two lucid white blurs set against a darkness curled in coils,
bleeding the river of its light.
All image is sonic here;
memories in their precedent form,
undulate through dreams of
and forest paths and maps wearing voices.
Oldness bristles when I call it new.
In the morning my room is bright.
A hungover sky swoons from pink to grey
barely able to stand above us all.
It’s morning and life erupts from cracks
in the concrete like foam spilling through rabid teeth,
slowly at first then multiplying
beyond my imagination.
I arrange shells in a circle
and the sea pours through, responding as I
reach outward, silencing everywhere I ever knew.
The river Lea is choked with green.
This is Autumn where I live now: foxlike, forward without reason.
I am with you when I think all of my thoughts,
or perhaps you cause them. Here’s one –
Pursuits of attentiveness:
 Etymology; a heavy headed flower falls towards its root
 Orgasm; speechless reaching towards a stillness until
unborn over and over and
We are on the bed counting upwards
throwing numbers at the sky, always chasing something
even if it’s the dreaded breaking of the earth
I think about how we love to
trace meaning down a word’s spine
we chase pleasure down our bodies,
like purple flower stems.
Together, on the bed in this thunderstorm.
No longer a direction but an emptiness
An intake of breath before lightning.
Where is the root of thunder?
Another thought rises and
a willingness hovers between us
in the dust of the dark.