“Dear Friend Go Away, Please.” A Poem by Mark Hyatt

From the Collection So Much For Life

June 12, 2023  By Mark Hyatt

Because I have an English poem
in my lap, of green-wooded sex,
I think somehow I must try
to find a mother’s want in me.
Please, dear human friend, go away
from this gore of shyness
which bears in great silent agony
a need for you,
but think, in under-understanding this,
all this is me, dear brains
showing clean how simple how reason,
the pilot tiger of bitter nest,
feels I am a man maiden who
really looks silly
when this man bothers with another man,
and speaks plain horror
only to upset my friend’s thought
into what my deep mind feels it comes to
for you to clear thought.
I don’t know whether pain thinks pure
pain inside your insideness
but I love you in pain,
also through anonymous hellish agony
without you, my man believe me,
but I will lay down this letter law
somewhere in the hurt that settles in me.
If I ever think of you somewhere
where you are not without your image,
I will allow you to forget me,
because I am selfish to forget
every minute just past through the head
which is coloured to death,
to find myself in the lies I live
though pot-headed or pilled to sleep.
You live as my childhood horror
of something-stranger I could want fantastically
I did try to be from the early dream,
you are the horror I am looking for about me
with these pick-fingered words
that fade after death.
Please, dear friend, go golden,
without one fear of me.


From So Much For Life: Selected Poems by Mark Hyatt, edited by Sam Ladkin and Luke Roberts (Nightboat Books, 2023). Copyright © 2023 by The Estate of Mark Hyatt. Reprinted with permission of Nightboat Books.

Mark Hyatt
Mark Hyatt
Mark Hyatt (1940-1972) lived at the center and the fringes of the bohemian underground in 1960s Britain. In the half-century since his death, his work has been known almost exclusively by word of mouth. Drawing on a full range of archival sources, So Much For Life is the first comprehensive edition of his poems.

More Story
The First Folio’s 400th Birthday: Shakespeare Scholar Unpacks Its Legacy For tens of thousands of years, human beings have been using fictional devices to shape their worlds and communicate with...

Become a Lit Hub Supporting Member: Because Books Matter

For the past decade, Literary Hub has brought you the best of the book world for free—no paywall. But our future relies on you. In return for a donation, you’ll get an ad-free reading experience, exclusive editors’ picks, book giveaways, and our coveted Joan Didion Lit Hub tote bag. Most importantly, you’ll keep independent book coverage alive and thriving on the internet.