Three Poems and Two Extracts

Matador That death like a man dressed in red trickles Down the curve of the hill, until it comes to a stop round your feet as naturally as a mirror relaxing around your feet before shattering. (Inside-out man who draws me to him and buttons me up like a golden jacket; from the heavens roses…

In the Belly of the Boa

The Work of Peter Verhelst Until recently Peter Verhelst (1962-) was one of Flemish literature’s best-kept secrets. True, his disturbing poetry and novels had been much praised by critics and a select band of readers; but he seemed too difficult for the public at large. But although the level of difficulty is no whit reduced,…

Knife-Throwing

She stands motionless, chalk-white, waiting. Rigid with desire. When I look at her she lies prone, bleeds from one breast. She breathes hard, leaning half against me. I hold sleep at bay so that I can feel her. I kiss, I draw breath. She puts her arms round my head, kisses me again, says from…