untitled #1. deviation by Declan Wiffen


untitled #1. deviation 


in-between two tall pylons 

forget all that came before

swept under the sofa—

two morning thoughts on monogamy for a provocation into 

‘rusheth rather than runneth’. 

a skate’s heel swallow curve takes me out of the world up to 

constable skies, flat alone, back into promiscuous attention. 

a wish to find someone to die with…a cure for the terrors of aliveness. 

options we can still want despite closing the book. 

this ethics makes for a nervous-talking fuck boy but 

is philosophy enough? 

ecological theory sure won’t save you &

what is the boyfriend experience other than the end of a conversation

the resumption of a subject after deviation? 

swale the risk of abandoned junk—

haven’t seen jesus lately anyway, he was asked to keep god company. 

a big long walk alongside mean-low-water without 

interruption to my interruptions. 

is this really where you’ve been with your time? 

it is all a question of which catastrophe one prefers

varieties of knowing selves, deriving life from handbooks 

& affections echoed in creeky dreams. 

                                                                         people do different things with syntax. 

not a river of meaning but a tidal channel where 

prepositions are rapid & liable to deluge. 

a drenched body expressing the relation between 

a mirror-sheen & purple thunder 

in which i listen for what was hoped for yesterday, 

opening your line of shored up defence against saxon sex. 

untitled #2. irrepressibility


we can all want different things & you can’t tell me everything. 

it would strike futile to duck after lightning & still, 

crouched by this sea wall begin singing everything good isn’t pretty. 

bulrushes & jointed waft wind movement seen

rooted irrepressibility. 

show yourself to me in reed formation, cartographer of produced desire—

whisper those who say there’s no lack might be trying too 

hard to be whole. quarter my weaknesses & 

harrier the unsaid, not for bait digging or beach fishing, 

merely ranging the ditches together for a solitary grey heron. 

watch its clap flight & felt each cold rain drop on our backs 

until we merged with air & misty friendship. 

barge all plans & wade up the inlet for a supper we catch & cook, happily ever….

no, a lick of light from up under the edge of a clouded nap. 

my disposition isn’t ready for august’s young magpies. i scream black & white 

with the oyster catchers in a gust, red bills cut jaw, 

not flying but tumbled into dryness. 

who to turn to for ending, turn into tomorrow’s shadow? 

this little hedgehog, lost? 

brent geese won’t arrive till winter. 

                                                         i don’t like any of this, 

                                                         haven’t been able to say anything. 

swim again before the last plan of action—

search for eelgrass, linger if the grazing is good & push on at dusk. 

pray to the flat open for 



to return in flock



declan wiffen is Lecturer in Contemporary Literature and Critical Theory at The University of Kent. As part of Estuary Festival 2021, he was the organiser of Cruising the Estuary, a series of nature writing workshops exploring queer ecologies. He is also the editor of Litmus: the lichen issue, a magazine exploring the intersection of science and poetry. Recent and forthcoming writing can be found in FieldNotes 003, Responses to Derek Jarman’s Blue, A Queer Anthology of Healing, and -algia magazine. his first pamphlet will be published with Invisible Hand Press later in 2022.

29 June 2022