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By Philip Hancock

An assortment of sticks

sprouts from a five litre tin

on the work bench.

Plonked in anyhow

after stirring up paint,

they steep in a sediment

of turpentine and paint skins.

I pick one out: holly green –

the last colour it mixed –

clotted, knobbly, glistening,

an accidental Giacometti.

PHILIP HANCOCK was born in Newchapel, Stoke-on-Trent. His debut pamphlet Hearing Ourselves Think (Smiths Knoll, 2009) was a Guardian Book of the Year and his most recently collection City Works Dept. was published by CB editions in 2018. His work has appeared in publications like The Forward Book of Poetry 2019 (Faber & Faber), The New Statesman, Oxford Magazine, Poetry London, and The Poetry Review.

Art by Autumn Clarke


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