story

Moving to Cornwall

Moving to Cornwall

A friend said that he couldn’t imagine me
eating pasties. In his head
I just ate creepy crawlies.
When I slept,
belly full of butterflies,
bedbugs warned
not to let me bite,
and I dreamed
long unbroken dreams
knowing cockroaches
could survive a nuclear holocaust,
but they would not
survive me.

Crucible – From my pamphlet, Chandelier, out on Broken Sleep Books

The way the sun
elongates over a lake at twilight
the 2 watt halogen energy saver
achieves on your
closed eyelids
after about a minute or so’s warm up,
a time machine whir
and a strobe of blinks.
When you open your eyes
I see this landscape roll halfway
into your skull, nearing brain
but not touching,
revealing the cavern
networks of your iris;
a staggered echo
sounding back my own voice
from the crucible of your gaze:

I love you.

 

Erasure

The image of you in my head
is fraying,
tailing into anemone fire.
Your crisp lines jittered like
sutures on a skull.

Never just one burial ground.
The rot happens
in that Manchester grave
and the head.

First
there is this Picassion mutation,
a steady morph
then acid baths,
and I’m left with:

Objects – colouring books,
foot operated
ash tray, pocket knife.

Details – a comfy femur –
my throne,
your elbow bend
on the arm of the chair
I could express
mathematically with triangles
and degrees on squared
note paper.

Sense memory –
voice that soothes my mother,
voice –
god of my god,
smell of stew.

Bigger things –
warmth and awe,
cloudish serenity.

And I wish it hadn’t taken
so long to admit,
but it’s okay.

You dismantle,

patch after patch, blacked out
over time
in the primordial alluvium
of thought,

and I’m left with
the raw materials;

the sweet erasure
poem of your soul.

For the Soul of Your Mother

An evil of colour
this sundown
bedraggled with cloud-rips.
Lost I’d say, or left behind-
red-sided
garter snake ecdysis;
vixen smeared
over an oily road;
or that thrift shop cardie
you’d never wear,
but for the soul of your mother,
can’t take your eye off.

Top Heavy

You fell so often
your skull developed craters
and was moonish,
fizzing lunar transients.

Grit asteroids revised
your cranial map.

Maria flowered darkly.

Mountains surged from plate faults,
and basaltic valleys whirled beside
your blood orogeny.

The sun dripped away
behind your swell of horns
and lit you – a theatre
of bones –
and I sat beside you,
eating moonlight sweet from knives,
then dissolved into orbit.

Still, They Knew Him from the Flock

Inside the beacon, someone
found the blue eyed lamb hung;
throat frilled as gunnysack,
sea-cold,
in the first field of the coming sun.

Atlas and Axis disengaged;
both strung and trapper.
Music of death-rattle.
Selena’s tracks between used
rubbers, and chocolate wrappers.

How many nights before death,
caught in mooring rope,
the stars washed in so low
a tall man might knock his head;
the moon stooped enough to hang his coat.

The Beautiful People’s Dead Poems

In Notre Dame there’s a bookshop
with stickers over every price and barcode,
marking each book up five, ten, twenty euros
because it’s famous.
If you buy a book
the grotesquely literate till lady asks
“Would you like a stamp”?
And every customer looks worried
and quietly asks
“Does it cost extra?”
It doesn’t, so every person says
“Yes, I’d like a stamp please”.

It’s always full of beautiful people
wearing their very best writer outfits.

Up the stairs to the left
there’s a little old piano
in a small enclave
and you’re allowed to play;
if you’re able.

Opposite the piano is a wall of post-it notes
with bits of poetry
all written by the patrons;
all in different languages,
Each one assiduously chosen
by their writer as the line
that communicates their purest essence,
waiting to be seen by a holidaying editor
who will storm the world in search of them
to publish every sick and sweet word.
But they just sit there in a sort of dogged rest,
looking somewhat cemeterial,
twitching each time somebody opens the door;
perfectly ignored
by everyone that walks by.

I picked up a book
read a page
saw the price
put it back
and played a note
for the dead poems
as I left.

The Glow

Death, I picture is much like

walking toward

a single street-

light

from a path,

black deep.

And noise

isn’t noise

but notes.

And the light isn’t light

but the absence of

the dark.

And shivers hit you all over.

Not from cold,

but strange joy.

And once more you remember

the burden it was

to cast a shadow.

 

And it’s something like

the impossibly quick

frame

between dreaming

and waking,

that is so fast that

it’s hard to imagine,

but must exist all the while.

 

Then if you die with priests at your bed

the venue will swarm

and pick your bones clean of a soul,

pray and regurgitate.

So angels like baby birds will devour you once more.

 

And if you die by your love

your soul will travel in them.

For that is the heaven you know

 

And if you die by your enemy’s hand,

at least

you’re not alone.

 

And if you die alone,

then

I am

sorry,

and so should we all

be.

 

We were never one,

though people like to say it,

but desolate,

isolated

things.

Unless we

found each other

in the dark.

 

I’m sorry

I never

found

you.