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cbt obituary by Natalie Perman

in the session she asked us to explain control fallacies/ set the exercise/ to write a letter/ i tried a few titles/ boys, again/ boy goes to rehab this time/ rewritten letter where boy goes to rehab/ none of them fit/ i was bruised from single days/ knocking out a million nurses/ diving into pig-headed greenhouses/ discovering new fruits/ digging pools of water/ feeding omelettes to dogs/ and going to war with children/ i was filtering/ focusing on the positive/ the political curiosity of seeing the blood run from a man’s nose/ and charting an eclipse in early fall/ prophesising dolphins in an all-inclusive/ and shaking alarms until they fell/ i held shoulds tight to me as ropes/ and jumped to conclusions thoughtlessly/ i praised free samples for invisible wrinkles/ yellows for migraines/ and capitalism for girls who love unicorns like ceremony/ i stuffed my nose with salt and sneezed peonies/ my body polarised/ catastrophised/ turned acid/ wet and stinging/ through a heartbeat/ my body did not give/ it took and received/ it lifted a drawbridge to a single room/ with no doors/ therapy is about tearing off/ what is healing/ if this isn’t emblematic of a revolution/ i will draw pain into a corkscrew/ it will mutate into a spiral staircase/ and i will climb up


Natalie Perman is a 2017 and 2018 Foyle Young Poet and won the Forward Student Critics’ Award as well as the Mapleton-Bree prize 2020. She served as Editor-in-chief of the Oxford Review of Books and Deputy Editor of The Isis Magazine, and is currently Poetry Reader for The Adroit Journal.


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