Monday, 22 October 2007

Alex Pryce - Three Poems


Your name is a digit
because your parents were counting down
on their combined fingers.
You were a day early.

You are a single
undotted i. A prime number but
an unusual name.
You were always first

on the roll, last in exams.
You saw her figure, took her number
and soon were multiplying,
dividing at five kids.

You are again single,
undotted i. You are always first
in the personal adverts.
Searching for sequence.

Black Coffee


Black, she explains, because it’s quicker
to buy, quicker to make, quicker
to drink in a hurry. Just

She smells like a café on a Saturday,
four cups by half past ten.

She runs her hand through brown hair
and widens her eyes; thinking, I assume,
of the mugs she knows so well
still lukewarm and cradling in her lips.
The moment is spilt, passed and
the coffee is cold and stale on her desk.

Back in the staff room
she is thinking of her quarter past eleven

English Morning Breakfast

You tell me, picking up the list,
that there is something innately beautiful
about the vocabulary of coffee.

Spilling your Latte, Espresso, Americano,
spitting Mocha and dribbling Cappuccino.
You are pouring the menu over the table

between us; by the time you’ve reached
Café au Lait, I’m ordering tea
to silence you,

but you are still boiling, bubbling
over. My tea is Assam, Ceylon, Earl Grey
in this English Morning Breakfast.

Alex Pryce was born in Bangor, Northern Ireland in 1988. She is currently studying English at the University of Leicester. In 2006 she received a fellowship from the National Endowments for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA). In 2007 she received a bursary from the John Hewitt Society. Her poetry has appeared on the BBC Northern Ireland website, in Speech Therapy, and is forthcoming in other magazines. Alex is the creator and developer of PoetCasting (

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