poems

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.

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For the Soul of Your Mother

From the pitch blue that strikes
ache in the eye for trying
to find a bottom,
we carried into
Reeth under
an evil of colour,
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.

Flu

These chronologically challenged fortune
cookies started life on my side
table. Covered my books, todo lists, tickets,
picks; bulged a drift against my lamp,

so in the evening nuclear
waste prophesies burned
citreous through the wraps,
milky as you’d like.

Telling my past and present.
Delicate pins of red sulk
in plasma like blown glass. The
origami doomsayers

spilled fast down
onto my carpet. At times
I’m delirious enough
to think them pretty

as white roses, or spare
stars, forgetting that reactor
core balled in
threatening meltdown.

I’ve had thoughts of you, S.Lee.
How these chemicals have been
on my skin, my clothes, inside me.
Where are my super powers motherfucker?

I have dipped an ashy toe
in plutonium fen. Drunk
it and expelled it.
Drawn some in a pale.

Yet I am raw as an old strop.
I have made razors sharp
as star limbs while I have
blurred into bokeh.

If I were not thinking this
I’d swear I’d become object
set here to drip as
salt lamps, stalactites. Inmates

are warming,
have talked to me,
told me jokes. I have
laughed like dragged

girders over the
blemished epoxy
of humour. Sort of gun point
laughs, elevator manners.

Atlas hatbox knows
very little of geography but a great
deal of the seasons,
and of storm formations.

Doesn’t know how talking
about the weather became a
faux pas. Believes it to be
the closest thing to real

magic after art, the relative strength of ants,
and a great cloche. Erhu is a dirty
old bastard. Wants me to pick it
poppies. I tell it it’s not the season.

Asks if I have any weed.
Orange MK II has noticed
my voice tuned down
an entire minor third.

B I believe.
Asks if I’m into drone.
Sometimes I say. This guy’s
alright says African

redwood hippopotamus.
And I wonder at his Brooklyn
accent, and absentee tail. I tell
him thanks. The ugly bowl

of pennies/misc. threatens blades
sometimes, but I’m not worried.
He’s mostly just pennies. Graduation
llama asks if I still write.

I am I say.
Now? As we speak
Champ. God’s honest.
But I must stop for a moment.

The pendulum clock
just peeled me
a ripper, gun cocked, and I have
drafted more neon globules

while I dragged my girders,
and I am entirely
out of tissues
again.