David Crystal

David Crystal was born in Prudhoe, Northumberland in 1963 and now lives and works in London. He has had two previous collections from Two Rivers Press.
His latest collection Wrong Horse Home is available from tall-lighthouse.

He is a former editor of Dog, a poetry/short fiction magazine and has been widely published and exhibited. His poems have featured in the toilets and adorned the condom machine in the ICA. South London is Crystal’s manor. His poems explore strange days in dark times. A kind of Blue in Brockley, psychic meltdown in New Cross, love and redemption on Hilly Fields. The jazz bird, the jail bird, the crack head looking for butterflies in a betting shop in Sydenham, all life is here, on the wrong side of the track, south of the river.

There’s a surreal familiarity about much of his work; a familiarity that comes not just from the everyday world they depict but also from half-recollected folktales. Birds fly into and out of his poems, like Bede’s sparrow through the mead-hall of life.

A Poets Tale

18 people and a wild midget horse have read my poems.
Errant critics beware the wild midget horse!

Do you have a beer glass?
No Sir this is a fish restaurant.

A palm tree bows towards Galway Bay
like a head waiter feigning humility.

In dreams years ago I saw a Kestrel fly out of his mouth.
I watch our solar lamps blink and fade; could hardly recognize his face
in the oxygen mask, slowly fading out.


Birds mourn and sleeping policemen implode.
A suitcase bursts open, the spider monkey escapes, the fat man blames his wife
and trains to Brighton this evening will not stop at Burgess Hill or Preston Park.


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