Katy is charismatic. She's charismatic in person, in conversation and in how she reads her poems in public (I very much enjoyed hearing her when we both read at an Ambit launch a few years ago), but she's also charismatic on the page, and very few poets are capable of such a leap. Her lines brim with life, brio and elan, all in all a class act, as demonstrated by today's poem:
To the Sea Party
Go that far down and you’re moving through night:
you part the world’s lead-liquid atmosphere
thick with death and shit and flakings from above –
last particles of oxygen gasp and implode –
and see nothing. You’re blacked out past your red,
your bluey-grey, your scales or skin or frond.
Passing squid provide your only outerwear,
from who can say where.
Further down, the smaller crustaceans wear their day.
Phosphorescence flashes while they dance
like Gatsby in colour and never stop. The noctiluca
form in tiny shining swarms and are both canapé
and Chinese lantern. It’s their party. Down here
you eat the prey that shines, while you shine on your prey.
First published in Broken Cities (Smith-Doorstep, 2017).