Poet in Residence – Jasmine Simms
Formerly Vice Chancellor’s Scholar for the Arts at Durham Uni, Jasmine was Writer in Residence (2019) at the University of Tübingen & has won many awards. Her debut pamphlet was published in 2019.
The Football Trophies
Not often enough, life gives us trophies.
In football there are trophies for scoring goals, trophies for taking part and even trophies
for joining the right team at the right time. Trophies every year for being 9 years old then 10 years old. The giving of the trophies is the whole thing. It’s a parent’s job
to order the trophies, then another parent must organise the ceremony. The trophies sit on the mantlepiece above anyone’s eye level. You are ten years old and man of the match, holding the trophy high above your head
like you must have seen on TV, those strange role models, the ceremony already in motion.
Inside the Painting of Ophelia in the River
I brought myself here. There is surprisingly little water
after the long summer, surely not enough to drown in.
The situation doesn’t add up but I’m not here to play detective. I am here to enjoy being inside what I’ve always loved,
to feel oily and unclean. She is here like a platonic form,
her familiar white corpse. She is here, looking like the girl
I secretly loved in school, and on my bedroom poster,
my 2017 diary, the mug you gave me for Christmas
upon which she appears pixelated and unreal.
It was an obvious gift. You saw it and thought of me.
You were in a gift shop and suddenly she appeared
to have always been a part of us, like a mutual friend.
But I’m thinking of me now, how much I always wanted
to be here, to bring myself here. What a gift I am to myself.
I found it for you in a German second hand shop, then damaged it at the airport but you still loved it, then looked after it for a while because you were moving house and it was a big umbrella with a sharp end like a weapon, which they didn’t like at the airport, which is how it got damaged, then gave it back to you when we lived together but borrowed it for standing under on picket lines, and we even stood under it together for a while, but argued about who should hold it, because yes, you’re shorter, but also your arms are stronger, then years passed and I didn’t know whose house it ended up in, and I still think about it sometimes, how they don’t make umbrellas that way these days, in that huge protective shape, like a
tent, as though a person might try to live under it, which I suppose we did, or like a womb, as though a person might try to grow inside it, to grow too much for it, which we also did.