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Anna Cathenka

positive thinking


my best friend hasn’t whatsapped me for days

so she might be dead. but all i can think about is

how the people i fancy on twitter are different

to the people i fancy on instagram. don’t you hate

poetry about social media? the cold, damp

soil is not a blanket for the dead. it is more like

a flannel for growing cress. sometimes i think

about being buried and all the cold, damp soil

crashing through the roof of my coffin

when it rains and getting in my stupid, dead

open mouth and hair.  i used to work

with a boy called jason who ate soil – perhaps

he was practicing for the afterlife – he used to

masturbate in communal spaces and liked

looking at the way light plays on water. i thought

i was a better person when i worked with jason

but i wasn’t. i am a better person when i sit

around all day in my pyjamas reading t. s. eliot

-prize-winning poems and feeling

the person that i love doesn’t love me back. because

on those days i don’t leave the house. don’t you hate

when a person pities themselves? on cloudy days

the night sky is not a poem with exit wounds

it is an artex ceiling with a sex mirror on it.

During a Repairing,

a Drunk Mosquito

Rushed into Field


i grasped

in the bath

what it truly is

to be straight


me in the water

the water in me


& one night i flew

& the little

squares of human life

beneath me made me huge

as if my belly-down body

as it glided over towns

was not far away but houses

& street lights had diminished &

if i reached out

i could caress them

with my exuberant

digits. instead

i just floated & floated

& let them carry on

without me & tiny &


if it's been a while

since i trimmed

or shaved my pubic hair

it makes a very little


under my pyjamas


& you know when

you don't know whether

you need a shit or

a wank?

i don't know

whether i love

your tweets

like i love pets or like

soft furnishings?

either way

they are objects,

objective, i need one

like i need

a mill pond right now


a government sanctioned totem pole –

shallowly i i i &


how do i do happy

when my abuser

was called larry?


o, the irony.


drunk mosquito

breathe heavily. the comments say

she's hungry. traffic noises

in the background. it is

green 0, 4 3 3!

o the petrol

peacock colours of her eye!

o proboscis! o

drunk mosquito eye

eye eye

& legs is golden & so

fragile. & every individual

hair shakes

her breathing o

i am sorry

drunk mosquito. so sorry.


i watched that video

after the one of you

reading poetry

on coke & really


i don't know

whether i need

a wank or you

but i think


the latter, deeply.

Anna Cathenka is currently studying on the MA Poetry at UEA where she is the recipient of the 2017/18 ‘Ink, Sweat and Tears’ scholarship. She has recently been shortlisted for the Ivan Juritz prize and her first pamphlet Dead Man Walking is due for release this year with New Fire Tree press. Links to Anna’s published work can be found at

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