Poetry: Victoria Bean

Stromboli the movie

Ingrid Bergman wants to run from the island
but we suspect she’d run from anywhere. The
real captives here are the tuna; big shiny
lozenges whose blue is blue beyond the movie’s
black and white. A line of fishermen sing

while they hold their nets. Someone scouts a school.
Shouts a school! The sea erupts in a washing machine
of panic – fins and fish too large to be this near
the surface. Roberto Rossellini’s camera catches

them glassy-eye to glassy-eye, follows their fading
surprise to the bottom of the boat where they slide
on slippery evening gown scales. Tails stop, mouths gape;
bloodless butchery to keep this island alive.

Stromboli the island

The lazy flatulence of a moped slowing;
the ascending scales as the surf spills
and darkens the already black granular sand.
A night time walk with no street lights on – cartoon voices
from a garden showing movies
next to a bookshop
whose yellow light warms the books.

These poems previously appeared in Noon: journal of the short poem, Issue 8

Victoria Bean is a visual poet and member of Arc Editions. Her poems have appeared in The Rialto, The Spectator and Poetry Salzburg Review. She spent a year in Horseferry Road Magistrate's Court recording, in verse, the 'high drama and low comedy' of the English justice system. Caughtpublished by Smokestack, is her first collection.