Poem: God And The Jellyfish

jelly

We all need a room for doubt,
Somewhere to sweep all the piles
Of egregious mental shaving,
Daylight savings, the weeds creeping in
For the corruption of the whole,
Sending cracks between the mortar,
Slivers of death in veins of life,
Varicose and ready to bear fruit

Then consider the freshwater lobster,
The titanic blooms of aurelia,
The outskirts of sewage dumps,
And nuclear waste tracts,
We all need room for doubt,
Where we can breathe in
The plastic of the ocean,
And nurture the dying king’s gout

Because I remember when all was Ocean,
Looking at the world through sagittal lenses;
I remember when each shoal was a reflection of myself,
And each move of my silver fins was reflected en masse
Around me

Now, there is little self enough to split a shoal,
My brothers, oh my brothers,
Laying bloated and bulbous
On heaven’s surface

Then God had an inspiration:
Remembering the jellies,
The medusae, plankton, and ctenophores,
Thinking of medieval saints,
He remembered those haloes of the ocean,
These tentacled coronas,
Drifting and bioluminescent,
Blooming at the heart of the ocean

If people could only see their godliness,
The ‘God-In-Us,’
Then seagulls wouldn’t explode with microbeads,
And Izaak Walton wouldn’t retitle his work:
‘The Compleat Ende of Us,’

So, God spoke,
And the jellies danced to his music,
Their polyps burst with kisses of life,
He put them on beaches,
As membranes of the coastline,
He had them swarm nuclear submarines,
To starve all the people inside

He had old men sit on beaches,
Clutch tenderly at venomous tendrils,
Man and Jellyfish,
Hand in hand,
Just like The Songs of Old

But God was displeased:
No matter how he blossomed Ocean,
Pullulating her with dense corona explosions,
No one came, no one saw,
On one swam,
Little kids died on beaches,
But not enough to make people notice

But, if you can’t bring Mohammed to the Jellyfish,
Bring the Jellyfish to Mohammed,

So, we were all flooded,
Unheard of since the days of Noah,
On the New Earth,
There were no rulers,
Only Jellyfish as Gods,
Jellyfish as Archangels,
Jellyfish as a Communion of Saints,
To chant the Psaltery of Man

And then God,
In a fit of self-revelation,
Looked down at his body,
His mass of cilia and polyps,
And saw that it was Good

“So that I can be immanent,
And I’m In Us,
I will start the world anew,
Fashioning Man in Mine Own Image.”

And that is the story,
Of how a Jellyfish,
Became the very first Man

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Poem: Wyrd’s End

the-creation-of-fish-and-birds-gustave-dore.jpg

A red slash across the sky,
A crimson flash of blood-burst veins,

Cycling, the moon, restless with strange power,
Pours itself down the throat of my mind,
All but gagging from Mania’s fever wine

What will this night bring?
Haunted by memories of disease,
And diseased memories,
Of howling arctic wastes,
Beleaguered by snowy breaths of wind;
Our haunted footsteps across the tundra

Coming from a cavern of jewels,
I withdraw to a black, oily lake,
The sable entrance of nightmares,
That nursery of monsters,
All bat-wing black,
And wizened with thought,
Until your brain bears no more inscription,
Rotting with the rest of us in the mud

Here I crawled along twilit holloways,
Murderous passages of vague crepuscule,
Mysteries raping my screaming mind,
Fevered by lunar tides – to feel the rain
Pelt against my brain,
And the stonewalls it wears away

Yes, I am the whiskey on the branches,
The bladderwrack on the rocks,
The deliverer of evil,
And mystic, mentalized shocks

I seek vengeance,
Through imagination’s fulfilment,
The weary curse of bottomless oceans,
I sleep, unwearied, on tireless feet,
Following dreams down wayward streets,

But I must give something back,
Relinquish all hold on tangible things,
Yield my nerves to beheaded logic,
As it lies bleeding,
In an executioner’s soft palms

Their fulfilment shall see,
The fruition of Wyrd’s End,
Wine bottles breaking in harvest
As I scarper round the bend

Poem: Celtic Call

Beck, Barbara, b.c.1927; Pant-y-Goitre Bridge over the River Usk

Rapid runs the river Usk,
Snaking into serpent’s foam,
Divesting self of scaly husk
And pained dragon bone

Swallow well the windswept grass,
Jesting through greenacre jaws,
Pushing through the private pass;
Last eve of earthly laws

Now knight the nape of darkening sky,
The loss of life we leave,
Callous crush of clawing cry
Gives back the green we grieve

Poem: Memories of Bath

artofbathing.jpg

Among buildings of golden Bath stone,
Broadways and alleyways,
Terraced falls and tiered fountains,
The promise of love lurks as a soul refreshment,
The physical geometry of spiritual enmeshment

With half a stout in me,
Stirring my spirit into a state of whimsy,
It’s easy enough to steer into a labyrinth,
Seduced by the scent of a bookstore’s amaranth

Looking at you between the shelves,
Casting sly-glances over page-gorged tomes,
Wanting to place a bookmark in your brain,
A passage returned to again and again,

Memories haunt me of faded loves,
Swiss women nursing me back to health,
Giggling together like drunken vagabonds,
Pissing in the park below The Crescent

How the wind blew cold then!
Hurtling down streets in icy carriages,
Warming our love in a mahogany haven,
Sharing pints in a booth at The Raven

I loved you then in a manner faultless,
If accepting of its brief terminus,
Never quite an Austen romance,
Dying before I reached The Continent

And if I’d been to Berlin, what then?
Would my presence in that metropolis,
Lost in spy-logged Grunewald,
Have made the blood between us any thicker,
Boundaries forged and dissolved in liquor?

No,
The ill-matching of souls and forms,
Miscreates the attraction desire deforms,
Like snowmen built at winter’s end,
All passions must melt away,
Disappearing to hell without delay,
To present Death their resume

So, looking at women between the shelves,
Casting desire down goldstone streets,
Admiring the curves I taste as wealth,
Love must come now summer retreats

Poem: Hospitality

sidney_sime_collage_by_colinmartinpwherman.jpg

Oh God,
It’s the body conceals the flame,
Animating the thirst poured into us,
Engendering fools, anxiolytic almanacs,
Tearstains in tarot cards,

The divination proves the pain,
The crucifixion of feminine archetypes,
Placed inside a thorn-filled coffin,
Mausoleum of toxic loving,

Nobody to think fondly of,
Just the stains from spilt dreams,
Nightmares hatching from the corpse
Some stranger dumped at your door

And finding brotherhood in putrescence,
I become all I abhor

Poem: The Invalid

Edvard-Munch-Death-of-Marat.jpg

I could not get home,
Every way I turned,
I was met with demons,
Barroom fiends brandishing broken bottles

They inflamed my nerves,
Converted me into an invalid,
The sick bed my cocoon,
My sick head a rotting womb

I needed nurses to move my limbs,
Help-meets to remind me of my vital functions,
But I would not sing the machinery hymn,
Or taste the wafer of medication

Now, I can just about sit up,
Spare a minute without vomiting darkness,
Yet, being only half a mile away,
I’ll never walk home again

Poem: The Carpenter

 

wood

Brushing my hands along old wood,
The sunlight of ages past transmits
Itself to me in Braille of Oak,
Fingertips sense a sullen spirit,
A misanthrope of majesty and malaise,
Cloaking his dark sphere of love.

Like the body of the fallen beech,
I am in the hands of The Carpenter,
The knife of experience ever pressing
Against my skin, each slice bringing
Me closer to my true shape

Let me never lose sense of your hands.
I am yours to hold,
To pass from palm to palm,
The wood of my younger years,
Is beneath your fingernails,
And if I am soft with you,
It’s because I’ve been bled of hardness

Let love be mutual again,
Let tenderness be the marrow
Of my bones, the exultation of my fibres,
The music in my groans

So my fantasies can ricochet
In tunnels of peace,
Keeping perfect time with yours,

And we’ll have no need of external faith:
Our love will be its own applause

Poem: Infertile

FridaKahlo

Footsteps chime upon the bridge,
But the river cannot reach me.

I hate humans,
I want humans

Wayfaring, wendigos enwrap my ankles,
My pathway a string of corpses,
The phallic church spires are all infertile,
The sky is pregnant with only sorrow,

Being unreachable,
Banned from a whole spectrum of experience,
These limping legs atrophy:
I lay among the nettles,
And, to make things more fertile,
I rot into the soil

Poem:Kafka In The Bedroom

KafkaUSA_27.jpg

You thought you would’ve wanted this,
But like Kafka’s ‘Country Doctor,’
Pulling away the sheets,
Expecting the reward of pearly skin,
You met with the spectre of gangrene,
The maggot-tongued sore in my side

That is my pelvis,
A warren of pestilence,
The finger-bore of blood marks,
The war inside the roses,

You try to conceal your grimace,
With the tact of a scarred hostess,
Replacing the covers,
We continue to kiss,
As though all weren’t rotten beneath us

It’s only a courtesy gesture, of course;
No sooner than dawn comes,
And you’ve wrangled me for
The necrosis of your last orgasm,
You’ll wipe the gangrene from the bed,
And my affection with it,
Like so many crumbs,

Embarrassed by the light,
You’ll inter me into a grave,
Inscribed ‘Pleasures Past,’

Then, like Kafka’s ‘Country Doctor,’
You’ll rape my lady servant,
Washing away the skin of my ink,
With the perfume of her blood

Never but every few seconds
Did you think sepsis would taste so good

Poem: Sexual Rites

dionysius

The false temptation of gentleness,
A voice soft like torn sheets,
Too much blood in the bed,
For me to share it

Below the waist, we’re all lunatics,
Haunted by spectres of negative experience,
Venereal pandemonium of desire confused,
Surgical scarification where we’ve been abused

United by our neuroses,
We live neurotically divided,
Yes, erotica and neurotica –
The two corpses in the bedroom

Barbed-wire corsets inlaid,
With carnelian blood beads,
A spilt glass of Merlot,
A book of misdeeds

The alien sex devices
Are indivisible from torture,
Who conquers most –
The Clown or The Voyeur?

Resembling Dionysius,
I cut off my phallus,
Squeeze out the semen,
Into an ornate bone chalice

Daubed on her skin,
She wept bloody tears,
Reimbursing the pain,
I’d held in arrears

Mutual self-torment,
Surrenders the fight,
Declaring myself morbid,
I whispered “Good night.”