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1. a critical period or event.
“the first major climacteric in twenty-first-century poetry”
2. the period of life when fertility and sexual activity are in decline; (in women) menopause.
“most women do not experience significant psychological problems at the climacteric”
is coming out in clumps; we are sweeping
it from corners, from beneath the bed,
gathering it into our
How can we love ourselves at the climacteric of our lives; of the planet?
Jo Bratten’s debut poetry chapbook bubbles with anger and guilt at the failures of both spirit and body and a coming to terms with loss, for the natural passing of loved ones, and the unnatural passing of our planet’s ecosystems. These poems offer solace: you are not alone – “In the fractured dark we’re all doomscrolling/before dawn, lit up like Caravaggios.” They offer the simplest kind of love: the joy that can be found within nature.
“I loved these poems. Jo Bratten’s work has a dark, foreboding quality but it’s also inventive, sensual, and caustic, with bags of attitude and fresh language. Highly recommended.”
- Luke Wright
In the fractured dark we’re all doomscrolling
before dawn, lit up like Caravaggios:
arms stretched across burning beds,
brows trenched like Judith surveying the head
of Holofernes caught against her bright blade,
baffling our morning brains with fresh dread.
In the pale light of refrigerator dawn
we stroke our kettles, wake our computers,
watch the same horrors play on bigger screens.
Tag yourself: Salome looking away,
the dispassionate crone, the white-shouldered
executioner with pity in his lips,
the head of the prophet on the platter
lit like pearl, all played out, prophecies stopped.
Jo’s poetry has been published in Ambit, bath magg, Butcher’s Dog, The Interpreter’s House, The North, Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal, The Rialto and Under the Radar, amongst others. Originally from the USA, Jo completed a PhD at the University of St Andrews and lives in London. Climacteric is her debut chapbook.
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