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The Clip-on Collar

to George Herbert wherever you ended up.

 

I broke my lead

and cried, "fuck this,

The scene is dead."

This rope of sands that twists

around my neck

shall burn for every time

it pulled me back

to these blank pages

and their accusation of a crime

as yet undefined,

in the embryonic stages

of requesting it's own writing:

The lord that calls itself child

While putting on a deep voice.

 

 

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Faint Signals

We were beasts of the forest and plains

until we sang a song that wasn’t sex.

That’s not to deny its acting presence

at the highest peak of our melody,

only now we are free

to deny our DNA

and get lost in the rhythm

prizing form over function.

-

Now we’re all islands

in bitumen night

winking faint signals

in preordained codes

from between the billboards we were stuck with

in the new millennial serfdom.

Impossible tits and great glass dicks

wage wars on the sky’s sensibility

-

Our songs become boxes

where we sit as children

and scribble some make-believe haven

in a scratching felt-tip.

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Shanty

Skeletal awnings,

Beneath a fierce sky

That glares down

On this brittle-leaf town,

Where she made

Bright ornaments from bottlecaps,

Threatening to skitter away

At the wind’s first word.

 

Acrid spell of cleansing,

Forgotten lingering vowels,

That creeps into the misremembered

Song she sang as she went about

Those bustling daily echoes.

 

Reclaimed detritus,

Every last piece of this place,

That sailed here

From some long-rusted purpose

Here a roof;

Now a home,

When we found a prosthesis

For the dinner table’s wobble.

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All is Reflection

Jubilant horns

and sugar skulls

signal the cloudiest mirror,

cracked.

 

With no bad luck

to be suffered

from losing sight

 

of these murky versions

of ourselves,

we dance

 

on petals crushed

into mud dried to dust

by drumming

 

of skittish heel and toe.

Here is death,

 

celebrated for the gift

of meaning it brings

in dissecting eternity.

 

Appalled figures twirl

on coffin lids

fearing only a life

 

without conclusion.

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Primal Imitation

 The rough touch of bark rasps calloused palms,

splits skin, lets the moss-spores in,

mingling life in my palms as I ascend

bending branches, shifting gaps in the canopy,

sparking entropy in a shower of not-yet dead leaves

aborted in my progress.

Belated childhood buds in comatose limbs

revived in reconnection to their purpose

decided by millennia of death now damned.



Preserved in tins and glass we find fruits

twisted to our ends from their own process:

countless lives denied in our dominion.

I discover sibling seeds swinging on tenuous tendons

aching to emancipate their way to new life.

We sway together, riding vibrating waves

of consequence aligning lives on a global scale:

relations of reactions overreaching boundaries of being,

existential intricacies insinuating my internment

coming before I can breach the canopy and breathe:

Open, exposed to the forces of wind and sun.

 

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Husks in Flux

 This is the dust,

ground-up husks

of previous “I”s

that fell from their train of thought and died.


This is the end of their reign over this body,

their distillation of meaning

from raw sensation

meshed together with memory.


A new author takes charge

as the last one loses sight of the page he was changing

into his only memorial

amongst this chain of deaths.


This body persists

in constant regeneration.

Fresh lives resume old roles

And we feel whole

Though all are particles in flux

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A Song for Shelter

Here we found rhythm

In the dripping of drops;

Rocks poured from the cieling,

A progress of aeons.

Untied my pack, sat and rocked

Out of the storm’s way.

I became a pendulum humming,

Rolling wet dust to paste,

Staining motions on the walls.

You built a fire,

Sung me an old placation.

The cave kept time

And I howled and squawked

Until I found the right harmony.

The thunder held the bass.

We told tales of capricious sprites

And the coming paradise

That lay somewhere close to here.

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This I (redraft)

This I,

 

this chemical chimera,

this sugar-headed slave

of bright suggestion,

foams sherbet at the gills,

saliva now syrup,

saturated, crystalline.

 

The walls are sticky

with finger-painted feather imitations,

Rachis reaching floor to ceiling

so every Barb stands out

as delineated by Darwin

now haloed in halogen buzz.

 

Old as love,

when first quill broke scales

to suggest a sweeter prospect

and snarls became songs.

This I traces only the Afterfeather

In a hope of plumage of its own

 

And a sweetness not so fleeting.

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Reach Inside

Vibrate the strings

at the centre

of my culmination,

 

my oscillating Oroboros question

of "why?" that bites

it's own tail eternally,

dissolves the eternal O

to I, seeing only one dimension.

 

See if there is sensation on that scale

If there is still an I to see

Or simply infinity

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City View Hotel

My window looks out on to other windows

Of varying size and height,

Not conforming to any particular story,

Dotted like crotchets on a stave

With the reason for their composition

Shuttered away behind opposite walls.

Possibly haunted or at least rented

By a presence invisible behind

The glass darkened in the sun’s glancing.

There are only hints of reciprocal shoulders

Supporting the haze of a head.