The Girl in the Dog-tooth Coat by Zelda Chappel
The Girl in the Dog-tooth Coat is Zelda Chappel’s debut poetry collection about loss and discovery. It’s about the ways we fold our days into a corner to hide from the best of ourselves. An astonishingly accomplished collection from an emerging poet to watch.
‘Elegant, beautiful, and full of longing, these poems linger and ache. Zelda Chappel writes with a cool clarity, yet allows you to feel a heartbeat behind every word. The Girl in the Dog-tooth Coat is a haunting collection you’ll want to return to again and again.’
‘Inventive, reactive, brilliant — poems forged with tenderness, imagination and vision.’
‘There’s something about Zelda Chappel’s poetry that manages to pull back the skin and drive straight into the heart more beautifully and eloquently than most contemporary writers we’ve come across. That’s why she’s been published in popshot more times than anyone else.’
Jacob Denno (Popshot Magazine)
About Zelda Chappel
Zelda Chappel’s poetry has been widely published in both print and online journals with poems appearing in Obsessed with Pipework, Whisker, Eunoia Review, Lunar Poetry, Popshot, Bare Fiction, Prole, Hark Magazine, The Interpreter’s House and Ink, Sweat & Tears amongst many others.
In September 2014, her poem Another Twenty, Another Stone won the Battered Moons Poetry Competition, judged by David Morley. Her poetry was also nominated for this year’s Forward Prize.
Zelda is also sub-editor for Elbow Room, an on-going series of art journals and live events. Celebrating art in all guises each volume of Elbow Room is carefully curated to create an individual and cohesive collection. Produced in limited edition, hand bound pamphlets. A skill which Zelda will be putting to fantastic effect for one of our reward packages.
It’s the ways our tongues get folded, stealing
away my speech. It’s open mouths writing
letters, lipped words placed softly in ears
precisely. It’s shadows that aren’t what they
used to be and my fetish for transcendence.
It’s easier. These days it’s slipping through
flesh which we know can be done in silence.
It’s knowing this is not how you’ll have
imagined it. It’s not dark except for the door
we’re caught behind and my room’s heavy
curtains hung drawn, sad, apart for more than
mere sunlight. It’s glass making a show
of transparency while I learn the ways to be
opaque. It’s shrinking as you fill the space
I leave between my skin and bone. It’s waiting
for you to cover me, your skin a fine-spun web.
Before The Birds Begin
It’ll be a while before the birds begin so please don’t hold your breath.
I have watched you closely, and you I, both perplexed at why we speak nothing
of the storm that comes to rip our threads apart and shake our doll-faced selves
until our eyes rattle in their sockets, lolling stunned at what the world looks like
in jumped-up double-time.
Dark pupils take their time to recalculate, adjust, remember what it’s like
to find each of our vertebrae sung free, skins colliding in their flights, longing
to dance the night from her stronghold, feel the pleasures of blistered soles
and silk’s sweet friction burning above our knees, knowing the sun comes up
regardless of season and tidal shift.
Still, we know it’ll be a while before the birds begin and we are restless with cold
and tired of keeping watch for fissured smiles and menacing, looking to ourselves
for porcelain and the ways she finely cracks.
A big thank you to our early supporters for purchasing one of our fundraiser rewards and helping us ensure that we could publish Zelda’s collection.
Beth McDonough, Stephen Daniels, Carmina Masoliver, Tam Purkess, Dominic Stevenson, Joanne Key, Sam Loveless, Jayne Smith, Catherine Ayres, Mariia Ustymenko, Annika Smith, Ian Chung, Sarah Hehir, Richard Skinner, Elizabeth Williamson, Keith Hutson, Gillian Mellor, Mary Gilonne, Claire Trevien, Anoushka Havinden, Rachael Clyne, Rayya Ghul.