INDIGO DREAMS

PUBLISHING LTD

 

THE DEVIL'S TATTOO

Brett Evans lives, writes and drinks in his native North Wales where he enjoys walking Parson Jack Russell terriers Remi and Rio.

 

His poems have featured in such publications as Bare Fiction, Butcher's Dog, The Frogmore Papers, Ink, Sweat & Tears, The Interpreter’s House, Other Poetry, Poetry Wales and more.

 

His poem 'Directed by Sergio Leone' was a runner up in the 2012 Cardiff International Poetry Competition.

 

Brett is co-founder and co-editor of the poetry and prose journal Prole

 

www.prolebooks.co.uk

 

 

 

Brett Evans

 

The Devil's Tattoo

 

ISBN 978-1-909357-78-5

 

Indigo Dreams Publishing

 

Poetry

 

138 x 216mm

 

30 pages

 

£6.00 + P&P UK

 

PUB: April 2015

 

 

ORDER HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

grass-flat

Stepping Stone

 

It's something you weekenders

would never know. You who only dip your toe

on a Friday night, who only paddle

the shallows on match day, or maybe

even ford the stream

on a bank holiday afternoon.

 

You have never hurled yourself to rent

the sheen of water, sink

and remain flat on your back

on the river bed

until you cease to feel

the chill or see your skin

begin to wrinkle.

Let me tell you how it is.

 

Just place your foot on that first

unstable stepping stone,

and mid-step, challenge your own balance

in anticipation of a slip into the drink.

Arms outstretched,

you're not quite walking

on water, not yet steeped

in faith but fighting

the temptation of turbulence.

 

Once both feet are on the stone,

before taking another step,

look down. Look long and hard

at your reflection on the water,

then deeper to name

the fish that ripples through your core,

to spy what lies

half-buried in the shale.

 

And through all this, clenched in the fist

like a fretting butterfly, the desire

to be dry.

 

 

 

Scarecrow

 

Reaping nothing from what's been sown,

arms outstretched, forsaken,

he wears his unkempt crown; king

of the hand-me-down. Dressed

forever in the same tattered rags

 

that suck the wind through or hang

from his frame with the weight

of the morning's rain, he sways;

a metronome to an orchestra

of gale and sleet. This son of Man

 

is blind to purpose, rooted in solitude

and cannot find a voice to yawp

back into the squall; no sermons,

no parables, no disciples or flock.

Not even the birds.

 

 

 

 

 

Directed by Sergio Leone

 

There's nothing but waiting around to die, so you choose

how to spend that time: swatting flies on your stubbled

throat whilst waiting for a train or riding through

this one-horse world, hell-bent on creed or trouble.

A bottle of rye, a cheroot beneath the bough

may be enough for those who're simply chasing

a quieter life. Or you could stand or slouch

between hero, villain, gunslinger and assassin;

your idle fingers twitching whilst waiting on a script

to reveal the character to which you are assigned.

An extra in another's movie, too late you've grasped

that at the bar, in bed, on the street, dying's just dying.

Your final suspicion, that there must have been so much more;

that there must have been music, an unforgettable score.

 

 

 

 

Teaching Jesus to Dance

 

It’s hard, you said, when the Devil’s on your back;

you climb up his gnarled sequoia spine

vertebrae by vertebrae, your glass

steady; do not spill a drop. Lupine

being the order of this and every night,

sink your teeth into that toughest cut

of meat: the neck. He’ll writhe, so grasp your pint,

employ your weight till the bastard breaks; enough

of this should see his hooves are shorn, have bled.

Once his tail’s been dragged out the dance hall door,

it’s time we tucked the moon into its bed

and howl in another unexpected dawn.

And let’s not dwell upon the Devil’s faults,

tonight we’ve a date with him for another waltz.

"There's a sense of searching in The Devil's Tattoo, from Wales to the Wild West, the poems progress like the journey of man looking for a lost hero wherever he can. Evans looks to cowboys, villains, poets, and piss artists for answers about what a hero is, only to find the drunk wandering home, the scarecrow in his rags, men looking for ways to stay dry. This is work that cuts through machismo to reveal an aching vulnerability within masculinity itself - a surprisingly tender debut."

Angela Readman

Poet, Short Story writer

 

 

"Brett Evans’ poems go rollicking through the Wild West of Wales, arm in arm with Ma Rainey, Celtic blood pulsing through their veins.  Pints of stout are priests and Jesus is dancing with the Devil on his back. Evans sees his blurred reflection in the river and doesn’t hold back."

Martin Figura

Poet

 

 

"Brett Evans has a knowledge of darkness and depth, light, frustration, outskirts and intelligence.  His pen paints a complete picture of emotion and detail with an eloquence and understanding of things that only some people can fathom and a bright few can describe. The Devil's Tattoo wrapped me around my core with an innate comprehension and beautiful lyricism."

Meschiya Lake

Jazz Singer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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