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The On All Said Things Moratorium

Marianne Morris

The On All Said Things Moratorium

• Paperback


Marianne Morris has been writing, performing and publishing poetry for over ten years. The On All Said Things Moratorium is her first collection.

Reviews in Shearsman, Glasgow Review of Books, Magma



Crouching down to compel you in this one, 
‘I’m calling a spade a spade,’ says the pot. 
‘You’re black as a knave,’ says the kettle. 
In reality, both of them are black
now and both of them used to be white. 
Civilians get the gist early on. ‘He’s a creep.’

On their bellies through thick olive branches they creep 
in mysterious allegiance, hair flying into space in this one, 
continuing the topical debate of black/white. 
‘We want reasonable, balanced dialogue,’ says the pot. 
‘It’s amazing the way they appease civilians with those black 
plush toys, as if admitting greater darkness,’ points the kettle.

‘There has never been anything more black than that kettle,’ 
says the pot, bought sweat framing the face, the creep 
topless omitted from the. Tank passes in back of a black 
and white skirt. White stars liquidized in a black hole in this one.
‘Out of my way, you puny little kettle,’ says the pot.
They spar over aid-boxes, painted metal tops gleaming white.

‘Anyway the dance unit is electrifying,’ says a spokesman for the White 
Foundation, his face pressed into the ground. Where’s the kettle? 
The pot sees an opportunity. ‘I stand here today as a white pot...’ 
We don’t really know what’s going on. The kids creep
harder into their nights of loss. Chairs dashed with glass in this one. 
The kettle stares into the mirror, scrubbing at the rings of black.

Brief moment of self-realisation. Will nothing quell the black? 
Other than persistent and fraudulent repetition of the word white? 
That’s not real quelling. A sweaty doll grows his breasts in this one. 
The pot, despite our sanctions, continues with its campaign of black.’
Skulls glitter against velvet pockets as the already-dead creep 
breaks humanity’s balls. ‘You cannot be believed,’ says the pot.

‘This kettle is completely fucking black,’ says the pot, 
thinking the microphone is off. YouTube swarms in red and black. 
The civilians have long lost interest, deeming each of them a creep. 
Meanwhile the avant-garde painters ban the use of white. 
The avant-garde poets print books with pages all totally black. 
The sun sets on a diseased kind of hope in this one.

Beneath the tomb of public opinion forms the crust of your pie. 
Your pie, i.e. a kind of having no allegiance to anything, 
whether black, white, this creep or that one, kettle or pot.

 'Little Song War' will appear in the Forward Prize Anthology 2015 as a specially commended poem.


As the documentation of culture, as the source material of history, and as a medium of resistance, we know that words have the power to shape us. The way that we speak to people shapes the way that they treat us, the way that we speak about ourselves creates certain permissions and impossibilities in our own lives. Therefore, the specific, intentioned, and pointed use of language may also constitute an attempt to change certain ideas – political or otherwise – that depend on language for their perpetuation.
– M.M.


Price Pages Size ISBN


128 214 x 138mm 978-1-907587-62-7

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