Alex Mepham πŸ”ˆ

The Teacher

For this lesson, you will unearth your own definitions of _____ from your own experience. I would like you to write single sentences in the form β€œWhen you…” to describe the feeling of _____.

Below are some examples:

When you arrive on time but your date never appears.

When you find the book you ordered online arrives not as a book but as an appliance with a plug for another region.

When you drop the iron dish on your stone-tiled floor.

When you find you have no coffee on the morning of a red day.

When you go to the supermarket for soup vegetables but instead leave with the news of civilian executions.

When you walk through the botanical gardens in January.

When you hear through the radio of a province on fire as you drive to the petrol station.

When you read a poem to a friend and they hang up the phone.

If you found the words to evoke _____, _____ and _____, you have passed and you are incorrect and you are compassionate and a monster and a lexicon spoken only through gaze and whispers and screaming.

For next week, think of yourself as a mountain.
Describe your layers of sediment and grit
and how your rock will pattern
as you are detonated to pieces.

These pieces we will share
at the beginning of next week’s class.

Author Reading

About the Author

Alex Mepham (they / them) is a PhD student investigating how background noise impacts speech understanding. Alex has work appearing in Magma, Dreich, Olit, Berlin Lit, and Modern Poetry in Translation, among others, and is currently working on a narrative chapbook. Alex is also a poetry reader for Kitchen Table Quarterly. Alex lives in York, United Kingdom, and can be found at