Nova Prize 2016: “in the wake of e e cummings” by bruce greenhalgh

bruce greenhalgh 1
Bruce Greenhalgh (pic: Martin Christmas)

The Nova Prize is awarded by the Anthology editors to the best poem by a poet who has not been previously published in an FSP anthology. This year’s winner is in the wake of e e cummings by bruce greenhalgh.


in the wake of e e cummings by bruce greenhalgh

what no punctuation he cried
without an exclamation mark
without quotation marks
hovering over his words

but words remain
and fall like rain
from grey verbose clouds
onto grey receptive roads
at first the worddrops make
distinct marks
then patterns
then spreading like gossip
they join together
and whole discussions tumble along gutters

and dive noisily
into the mouths of drains

while i’m…
i’m feeling lower case
splashing iambic feet through prolix puddles

as conversation forms on cooling windows
i peer into a distance obscured
by the mists of cliché
and feeling a non sequitur coming on
i take a line break
to consider the meteorology of enjambment
the syntax of clouds
full stop