The Explorer

Jonah Corren

Hailing from West Dorset, Jonah Corren is a songwriter-poet. His work has been published by Nine Pens Press, Young Poets Network, and others. He is also an alumnus of BBC New Creatives (2019/20) and The Apples & Snakes Writing Room (2021). His debut alt-folk EP, Dreaming and Petty Crime was released in December 2020.

I can’t stop myself from chasing
the corner of my eye. I’m all Labrador,

spinning in pursuit of that whip
of tuft, only to snatch a handful 

of something threadbare
and familiar. The clenched fists

of my spine are stacked like pebbles,
up and up, impossibly into 

the breaking clouds. And look!
The sun is a fist too, rays 

glowing through parched knuckles.
All this light, and I still can’t catch 

the bugger. I’ll have to call in sick
again tomorrow, only to emerge 

next week, unchanged, like
the shameful re-entry of a hiccupping

classmate, the water fountain
having failed to rid them 

of their disruptive jolts. I’m learning
the trick, though. Someone whispered 

a YouTube tutorial in my ear,
then vanished before I could lean 

into the embrace. Hold a plastic bag
to your mouth and nose, they said, 

and wait, wait, wait, until air feels
like post-mix soda, until 

all the stars have flickered
into view.

Photograph by Naihan Nath.