Clare Pollard

Clare Pollard

Three-Martini Afternoon

The first in a glass 
like a tornado
brought to heel.

How the olive
with its red heart
makes a Dead Sea.

Children can be trained 
to mix martinis 
to deliver to your study

if you wish.
I eat the free potato chips.
Order another looking-glass,

sip its frigid rim,
my piss-hole in the snow. 
It’s ritzy at The Ritz 

plus, basically, just vodka neat —
a blowtorch at white heat
is quite the taste! 

Clear spirit
as in fugue; electroshock.
A good martini’s always

haunted by vermouth’s
bone-dry and colourless

The others? 
Oh, they caught their ride,
but stir one more.

I’ve got this thirst this thirst.

CLARE POLLARD has published five collections of poetry with Bloodaxe. Her poem ‘Pollen’ was nominated for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2022. Her latest book is the novel Delphi (Fig Tree, UK / Avid Reader, US).