Tag Archives: Horse

Magellan at rest

In the smoke of my bath, half-sleeping
there seem to be waters full of timber
and fish without eyes.

These waters run fastest in mid-stream
where the swirl almost turns on itself
pulling in all directions
while still moving strongly towards the sea.
The boats around me are broken
there are no boats steaming or sailing today.

On the banks scavengers wait.
From the corner of my eye I see a movement
but by the time I turn the flash of speed and color has gone.

It’s hot here, the sort of heat that makes evaporation
form clouds a few feet from the ground.
Everything’s damp to the touch
growing, shrinking or living precariously between those two states.

Somewhere above the tree-line birds circle
huge and grotesque.
Like badly-formed animals with the benefit of flight
they stumble through the air on short muscled wings.
Few have feathers, most look plucked for the pot;
where are the men with stomachs
grown strong enough to eat these dishes?


At night, with screwworms

I can’t remember if my bed’s ever been washed. It smells of Victorian sleeping rooms. The places where wires were suspended four feet from the ground and men stood snoring, hung out to dry with their dreams. I can’t count the number of insects, small and smaller, walking over me. Admiring each other and courting. My skin feels like a factory for fleas all tramping. As I spin slowly, toss and turn, the pressing of this quilt cover squashes nothing. The bugs are also laughing. The pink of my throat’s hot. I’m belching steadily in reverse, air and gas being forced back and down. I’m summoning the architects, the designers of night. I’m thinking of plaster made from poison, of politicians and voting booths invented to cut away hands just like voices, silencing dexterity

 I’m thinking of manipulation and other madnesses that might come along, reports of many deaths. My eyes which have tried so hard to stay open are peaceful being shut. The world’s closed out and the screwworm’s work can at last begin. As an athlete trains to be powerful upon a particular day, through repetition developing his body to respond, his mind to correspond, so an addict takes a training, unnoticed but still going on. This is a race to break the body and the mind within it. Where the podiums of victory are to be found on floors and where photo-finishes, so beloved, are described by emergency room bedsides.

I’m dreaming, beginning to dream. I’m in a great house and then outside, as though part of a movement but banished. I’m beside a pool unheated, being filmed. I’m reading aloud from a book. Speaking softly so as to make my audience listen more carefully. Speaking nonsense beautifully. My tongue an actor’s, my bearing, the shape of my body, old and shrunken. I turn to the camera, myself, and take out an eye. The seeing part of me looks into the lens and winks acknowledgment.

I’m in a cinema, I’m at home watching television, I’m walking past a hoarding. On advertisements I see myself half-seeing. Later I search deeply in my coat pocket and pull out the lost eye. I shake with fury and the eye is lost. I’m in bed with a woman, she’s maybe thirteen years old. As every year goes by she’s younger and I’m older. Amongst the sheets I’m losing two years every time I turn to her for comfort. She’s pepper, brown powder, and soon before the few months old when babies learn to smile. She has no teeth. I have no teeth. I’m in prison. I’m in prison and nobody comes.


I’m wondering who’s left reading
The Caucasian Chalk Circle
how many others think it a rest home for racist magicians.

What does it matter? Probably nothing, we evolve.
From the circle to the wheel of fortune;
all of us laughing very silently, developing our habits.

I was waiting for The Boy to come home,
this was some years ago.
He’d taken the motorcycle to buy heroin.

Some hours later I was pacing
another man was getting restless;
it was his money after all.

Gone midnight
The Boy came back
cold and apologizing for the time gone.

He’d been waiting for the weight
to work itself through
a dealer’s digestive tract.

As I watched him unwrap the package
and start to break it out onto a piece of re-inforced glass
I could see the funnier side of such a bleak damn business.

Later, as it ran through me
and I thought I was dying (so long had it been)
I couldn’t remember what it was I’d once found funny.

We are nowhere we know where we are

It’s true that you can never go home again, to youngness
to hair unbelievable where you’d never now put it
and hair invisible where you’ve grown it at last.

I can see a memory of weather
the warm air of the impossible
lived in by those who know no questions and worry none.

I can see a day that’s never been and would sing for it
if I wasn’t civilized enough to know that men out of baths don’t sing.
On the road outside now there’s a noise like ducks.

Together in step they’re walking towards the end of the night
hardly talking. It’s six a.m. and I’m waking or sleeping
at the point where there’s little difference.

I can smell warm potatoes buttered in their skins
but who could be cooking? I’m hungry
running my tongue around my mouth, up and down.

I can feel something going through my stomach
turning it over, something making color.
I’m sleeping, dreaming of waking.

There’s a birthmark on me, moving when I look for it.
From my chest to my back, from one leg to another
it’s a bird flying from a cartoon cat, a duck out of reach.

On the road outside there’s a noise. Like an explosion now
like boys with a firework in the field, like a black car being stolen.
I can hear a knife sharpening nearby.

Awake every sound has a separate meaning and someone close
is sharpening a knife. I’m smoking rainbows
papers with colored ink made sticky at the edge to smoke with

not bringing gold but lungs rolled with road-tar.
Soon life will become combusted.
When the energy goes, when it’s all been drunk

we smokers of the rainbows will be the last means of travel
and those cranks, the engine-owners, will enjoy us;
it’s true that you can never go home.




His face looks like an ordinary child’s
inflated to adult size.

His features, although distended
are those of childhood.

A pair of small eyes, a gentle mouth
a delicate nose quite literally blown up.

I can hear his body calling
his skin stretched like an intestine close to bursting.

How long will his neck and spine support this process of explosion?
How has this happened?



Marlon in your living room

We’re swapping lies;
Stephen tells us
“Envy is the saliva on an old mortician’s lips
as he watches two cars crashing.”

Marlon is nodding with his eyes more shut than open
dreaming of a digestive tract made from old bricks
crumbling with lime and dissolving.

In his head men with gentle voices
assure him how the weather will be.
Deep in his ears, suspended in an air of ether
the noise of these weathermen comes chanting.

He’s in a room alone
there are many rooms.
He dreams of waking
as the panthers of the cumulus
continue their broadcast
(dispatching the unknowable)
he thinks aloud,
speaking clearly to us from his sleep.

In the morning I’ll grow my hair and be fine
if there’s sun for rain or rain in place of sun
we’ll have a tally of resistance
I could cut throats with this tongue
make speeches so fine
they’d slip beneath your skin and keep you talking
I could swallow everything and have thoughts unsaid
ready to flow from my lips
I could have mothers bringing daughters to my door
and flesh by the yard
these things, wedding rings
don’t matter to me now.



Everything is the method

Like a chocolate machine for the lonely
a television turns on beneath the floor;
we invite these people in
and then try to control them.

We take color from their faces
make them spin into the box
and then re-appear at the bottom.
We slow them down and shut them off.

A woman pulls her shirt apart
button by button
spin her back and watch her do it again.
I’ve never known her
never held her
but spin her back
have her take off her shirt.