Friday 7 June 2024

Serge ♆ Neptune, "Mother Night"


Serge ♆ Neptune, photo by Sofia Falconi

Serge ♆ Neptune has been called "the little merman of British poetry." He is a Faber Academy alumnus and a queer neuro-divergent poet based in London. His first pamphlet, These Queer Merboys, was published with Broken Sleep (2020). His work was longlisted in the National Poetry Competition and the Winchester Poetry Competition. Several poems have appeared in The North, Propel, The Rialto, Banshee, Magma, Fourteen Poems, and elsewhere. 

Cover Image ©Kremena Chipilova, "Lost in Reverie"

About Mother Night
Mother Night is a hallucinogenic journey across a city with too many alleyways and across a life surviving childhood sexual assault. Forming a nocturnal séance, Serge ♆ Neptune resurrects abusive old lovers and ghosts of the queers of the past – conjures men in cars and men in bedrooms – providing them invitation and shelter, or casting them to stormy waves.

In a book of many types of darkness – across poems of vulnerability and harm – what persists in Mother Night is its celebration of resilience, what shines brightest is the many ways it reaches for the light.

From Mother Night, by Serge ♆ Neptune

my block of flats on the new cross rd
is now a giant record player. memories
crackle from afar. graffiti from the sides

of houses leave the walls, join
the parade of the reckless. night is a bag
of marbles dropped – each one rolling

over cars & people. i succumb
to their pace & weight, their love-tight gripe,
brace & crumble under the pressure

of the encounter. maybe this city
indulges us because it needs to – mother
swan devouring her cygnets – to keep

its foot on us, to cook us slowly.
gravity trips me, i fall. night drips red-hot
on the brain, lifts visions from its marshes.

i squeeze my body to define
my territory against a hostile world. i believe
in my mistakes. i carry them out proudly

like a pair of eyes on a purple glass dish –
my head, crowned with candles.

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