Poetry

New Pitsligo

Up north past Ironfield, the Blackdog Rifle Range,
Trump’s pompous golf course for unhappy god-kings
And the pretty oak limbo of Old Deer,
A six-sided diner levitates among the trees,
Solid green on five sides, endless low sky on the sixth.
The solitary watchtower, a field scout in peacetime.

The patrons know each other,
Red and blue fairy lights dressing black pipes.
A middle-aged flower child approaches,
Crosses one leg over another,
Welcomes, lists off specials,
(She works here, apparently).

A wind-up gramophone and an electric organ
Doze in separate corners of the room.
Spirit in the sky‘ on the sound system,
Falls parallel to fluttering laughter
And the rattle of toy train wheels
Against toy train tracks.

Red LED sign repeating:

... how on earth will I find you
when all my searching is done
out of this world, you remind me,
there are more worlds where this one came from
how on earth will I find you ...

A cuckoo clock chimes, simply.
A caramel and ivory waiting room
In the mind of Ivor Cutler,
A rare Sylvanian daydream.

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Poetry

Language has Revealed Itself

 

I hold my eyelids apart

Exposing a milk moon

To the tail of a playful flame.

 

Language has revealed itself to me

To be as ambition is to the lover

As love is to the young and untested,

 

It will serve me. It will betray me.

A sweet, caustic substance

Multiplying beyond the ambits of control.

 

It will subvert my power

With the force of a revolution

Or a child with a question on his mind.

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Poetry

Hoof

 

Under the shade of whose authority

Did I once sit? Cloven feet tucked beneath me

I would laze, chewing on a soup tin and bleating.

 

I have stolen knife-fuls of butter from larders

Delicates from clotheslines and love-trinkets

From kists. I have peered into mouseholes, roused

First by Curiosity’s little invocations

Then Obsession’s shameless demands

And so have undone the honest work of honest people,

Casting mud-clods of doubt at the front doors

Of the thread-cutters and sawbones.

 

Now, as I am guided to the gallows

The women in my family implore me:

REPENT REPENT REPENT

The men of my family command me:

REPENT REPENT REPENT

My feckless ears can only tremble at the sound:

REPENT REPENT REPENT

Heedless and plugged

With coarse hair as they are.

 

Tarred and feathered

Buck-toothed and braying

I make as if to plead

— interrupted

The trapdoor swings open,

A kimono gown, the vivid

Colours of dyed silk, erotic,

Moaning blues and purples

Revealing bronze skin, glistens

Then cawing, long black feathers

Descend in spirals, the rope corrects

The throat, corrects itself, taut,

Plays a final, odd note

The throat corrects itself, taught,

Plays a final, odd note

To the ashen pleasure

Of the small, seething crowd.

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