Look over your shoulder for the hustle of words.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Valproate

At first, your body glides with
a clockwork surety.
Did I forget? Did I forget?

Then
time clots;
it forms foggy balls, cloying sods
sticking to your limbs, your ears, your mouth.

You can float!
Tilting above yourself,
watching the increase of
stumbling mumbling movement.

Soon, you're drunk with it.
It could be giddily fun, you know.
A carnival.
But there are these monkeys
eating your eyes
and a ringleader
whipping the soles of your feet.

The sadist apothecary knows, he knows
how this powder touch
holds all this meshed rotting,
flashing and spinning.

Physics, physics - irrelevant!

Just as I begin to imagine
I am above your gravity,
your quaint Newtonian ways,
I reach for the blister pack.

Light, colour.
Diffuse.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Aunty Joy

Never repressible;
even now, your cocked finger
poised on your laughing jaw
is a rebellion.

You do not eat what we eat, no;
instead you lay out a feast
and preside like Nefertiti.
Overturning all the precedents
to treat us with a cracking laugh
and a clamping wit
that no-one wriggles free from.

You eat life with both eyes open.
You make Greer look like a girl guide,
with bad hair.

Skinless

I am not watching waves;
I become them.

In every knuckle of white and in
the dark falling caverns of tight water -
I am.

I am taking off the walked steps in sand,
the work worry, world worry, wife worry,
taking it off, off like a sheath.

I look back at this intangible skin I have shed
and I see the poor spirit,
the weave and the heft of it,
the condescending consciousness of self.

It falls;
from underneath these tonnes and tonnes
of pent up, locked in grit and grief
I emerge.

Now the water holds me in a thumping eye.
It doesn't fawn over my
light, light self, it simply calls me in a bass rumble.
So I go to it.

A finger and foot and hair uncombed -
they all join the sea.
And I am not watching waves, I am them.

I am tall and bold like them; I am fierce.
I sluice and drift like them,
I am the water reed,
I am the wren fishing,
I have no name.

I am a pulse, under a headwind.

Holy Orders

Your kindness poured out
is fragrant, is brilliant
it stings my sense of where you are
and you at a window becomes
an unreal thing
the night backing you solidly
the light pushing your silhouette
forcefully on my iris, my eye

until you're not a cutout
but a relief
raised on my mind like the
awareness of a skipped period,
patently there, crushingly full
and huge and unswerving.

Your hands frame my head
like a baptism
and your kisses
make the sign of the cross.

Waif

Waif

A coquettish dart will fly from you,
You facsimile of an ingenue.
Here it comes, across the air, the flat wide air
that opens out this rural room
like a sigh.

Your eyes? Sunk ships that loom
from a pale depth eddied only
by faint, faint lines not yet
allied with time.

Lovely mummer with a sour mouth
and lids that hate me;
their pits are punctures, awl rounds,
as though
the cultureless violence in your glare
was threaded there.

You click your heels to turn in
a derision you can't quite summon.
The clickclickclick like the steel
of a man's finger ring
on the butt
of his gun.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Boxed Girls

Boxed Girls

Girls are boxed in vellum and cedar;
spiced and salted and crumpled.
A knitted hat, an illegible letter,
a dropped feather treasured and kept.
Lever the lid and dig down a hand
and your keen grabbing fist might
clutch on a button, snag on the threads
of a cloth jewel roll.

Lay it out flat, for they keep their secrets
in the small ripples of silk.
Rub a thumb hard on the seam,
rub a thumb hard on the seam.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Glass Snail

The Glass Snail

Strappado face
you can haul me up with the hiss
from between your teeth
outing the remembrance of each line we traced
with nervous fingertips and shall never forget

I hold you secret like a snail
your black shell uncrushable and hazardous as glass
warning me -you'd break, embed and spread,
slow, slow, slithering intravenously again
into my very cells.

I won't cry out, I won't.

Letterbox

Letterbox

When the sky opens like a grieving eye
I squeeze my hand.
Reflex.
The grip is empty,
the palm not finding wart or line to press;
the fingernails ragged and chopped.

Without an umbrella we get all painted in drops
and you wonder aloud
why all my words are for other people.

You'll never know that I keep them
tied with wire in tight bundles in the hush,
hush of my little heart, the letterbox.
My words are dulled there.

They don't need to speak.
You make enough sense.

Seamless

Seamless

Ceaseless angry engines crank and shudder
up the hill, owning it, stamping it, clamping their
mechanical teeth into the flesh of it and wresting off bits.
I reject them. I reject them.
My metaphors become mechanical,
even mypsyche is drowned in the candy fumes
of petroleum.

Lovely petroleum, sweeter than sex
for the gurgling, churning, gorged horde.
Hundreds of years cannot bring them up
from the mine shaft, cannot bring them into a home of themselves.
They are still sitting as sentry dogs, waiting for orders.
Who approaches? Who comes to straighten up?
Icons and rock-stars, thrusting phallus and pen;
both run dry at the mouth.

I will myself apart from them, I will some
organic splitting at the seam of the womb
that makes me a pup of this litter.
I reject my oneness with you, I reject the
boots and the cigarettes, the self-conscious patter;
the beige twin-set set, lunching and preening.
Time congeals around me, but not you.
You are your grandfather, he was his.

I will myself far, far off,
to hear your voices and machines become the same hum.