Postcards from Malthusia DAY THIRTY-FIVE: Adam Horovitz

This is a Broadcast


This is a broadcast from the edge of space.

We’ve gone out as far as fuel will allow.

It’s down to vapour. To the lipstick trace

of some half-forgotten kiss. In the slough


between the stars we spin and drift

and it feels like we could dance on endless

in this void. Economies of scale, and thrift

mnemonics, have left us friendless


and alone. We crave news, however grim,

like salt, to salve the sourness of our tongues.

The want of gravity itches like a phantom limb.

An airless horror clutches at our lungs.


We’ve been waiting for the call to turn, to lean

into some other planet’s pull and swing for home.

There’s nothing but static on the screen

and our faces, distorted violently in chrome


so that we don’t look human any more,

are streaked with tears of hunger and despair.

We long to touch and be touched, to paw

at our loved ones and at the soil we share


but we’ve learned, out here, how blame

was shifted to our shoulders with magician’s grace.

How other we must seem to those who frame

their selfish narratives on the human race.


This is a broadcast from the end of time.

We’ve reset all the clocks. We’re turning back.

We know the punishment must fit the crime.

It’s us, from now on, who’ll be taking up the slack.




Adam Horovitz’s debut collection, Turning, was published by Headland in 2011. He published a memoir, A Thousand Laurie Lees, with the History Press in 2014, a CD of poetry and music, Little Metropolis (shortlisted for a Saboteur award) in 2015 and his latest book, The Soil Never Sleeps (Palewell Press), was released in a second, extended edition in 2019. He co-presents a new poetry and music podcast, The Thunder Mutters, with fiddle player Becky Dellow.

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