Poem: Vulcan’s Furnace

 

Heff

All words give birth to time,
Carving timelessness out of river-moulded
Landscapes, each frisson of syntax, sifting
The soils, harvesting memories, beleaguered,
Unburdened

What fruit will come out of this
Terrible furnace?
This word-mess of torches,
Emptying pity into mouths of sickness,
Clawing through caverns of unbearable thickness

Each second explodes in a radial pattern,
Symptomatic of a cosmos
Forged in a furnace,
Pounded on an anvil
Of microbial brilliance,
The stardust and starlight
Of a nebular uterus

Kicking Kronos in the teeth,
I chew on his dentures,
And crumble the shards
Into compendia of learning,
A thousand libraries,
All built from the incisors
Of a devourer too old to consume

Time ravels and unravels again,
While Penelope sits at her loom

Poem: Father of Hallucinations

homer

 

Homer, Father of Hallucinations,
Standing before the masses,
His words punching holes in reality,
Each one, a spasm of fractals,
A quaff from The Sea’s wine darkness

His sightless eyes, blind as Tiresias,
Or the injured Polyphemus,
Are infected with the meat
Of Olympian cloudscapes –
The offal and fodder
Of sea-swept kings,
Rent from a homeland
That never existed

His age-stained robe barely covers
His quaking flesh, feverish with the pulse
Of Memory’s maggots; every scene he’s witnessed,
A scar upon his nervous systems,
He can open and extend
Into infinite pictures

He remembers not just his own life,
But everything from now,
Until Year Zero
Unless he recalls it,
It never happened
His recollection is the backbone
Around which reality pieces
Sinew and flesh-scripts

II.

Now, The Bards are all silent,
No cerebellums tumbling from the mouths
Of ancestors – cobwebs linger,
Bereft aught of meaning, but the meat
And mildew of song-maddened spiders

He has attendants to feed him wine,
Laertes-like, to soften the relation
Between current experience and recollection,
Each cup bought to his parched lips,
A thigh-bone sacrifice to a galaxy of poetry

He could lose every slave, every spear,
Every garment – but poverty,
The only poverty,
Is the loss of his speech’s continuity,
And he would sooner bake in The Aegean Sun
Than hear silence descend on his verse

Memory is a psychedelic opiate
When Life is an inelegant nurse

Poem: Penelope and Melinoe

penelope.jpg

For so many years
My husband has been a phantom,

Each day, I weave him anew
Out of the threads of memory,
The turbid shadows Mnemosyne
Has been kind enough to lend me

My loom – the factory of my thoughts,
The creativity and monotony
Of demon-harbouring hospitality –
Has kept me upon the threshold
Of sanity’s crisp fragility

But then my phantom grew strange,
Poisoned by its own illusions,
Its pearly outlines fleshed
As though to disprove them

His face took form
Out of the scratches on the wall;
His voice bled from the screams
I’d sent down the hall

His skin was the bedsheets
I’d ground to a powder,
My hips – the millstone
Of eternity’s power

Now, his voice is mine,
Encaged in my ears;
It sounds like the secrets
Time tells The Years

Poem: Three Nights

lighthouse.jpg

The first night I slept alone
The Ocean sang me its fever,
My moorings were lost in the turbulent heat –
The arms of the gentle deceiver

The second night, my bed untamed,
Chewed me with its awnings,
And all around, the promontories choked
With writhing, lovesick warnings

But, the third night, with sick delight,
Gave freely of its reasons:
I was to decay; grow; wax and wane
In accordance with its seasons

And now alive, no more to writhe
In bedsick, homesick languor,
I see the hope of stars conjunct –
The lighthouse in the harbour

Poem: Disgusting Future

separa.jpg

We dreamt of our disgusting future,
Bug-eyed, with bleared lenses,
We scoured the edges
Of the tonal diamond –
The untasted limits of the epiglottis,
Strained to the bit
In the revels of Dionysus

I could not see your eyes then –
Only the marble beads
Of woods in darkness;
Artemis in the corridor
Of ecstasy’s snow-blindness

What is your history?
What leisures of Pain’s imagination
Have your stars spangled?

Unable to answer,
I drank beyond the horizon,
To the Arctic distance of Orion,
Chased by Procyon

It could not taste better:
The dance and the dusk-dream,
The ravages of monstrosity
All curdled like cream

But the goat-chief remembers,
Balked by Baphomet’s cold warning:
The elasticity of pleasure
Is the miracle of mourning

Poem: A Necessary Mess

sybil-and-aeneas-in-the-underworld-jacob-van-swanenburgh

A necessary mess,
All the coordinates of oblivion,
Enacted in stereo;
Mutated soundscapes, jagged and jarring,
The crumpled-up waveforms
Of transcendent madness

Intoxication is the heart-rate of violation,
The fulfilment of ecstatic trespass,
Overstepping the sacred barrier
Between meat and the soul it encases

Turned out into the strangest places,
The churchyard, garbage piled into mountains,
We searched among the carcasses,
All the futile fruition,
To find the cancer of abundance
Hanging from the branches

How could I have wrought this?
With the whiskey still aging
In oak barrel livers,
And the disjointed footsteps
Of over-extended limbs
Cavorting in agony –
The skull-trophy churches

Then lurching into the dawn,
And the unwatered hope
Of despair-nurtured kisses,
We found union in the trespass
Of corpse-fingered ditches

To twinkle in the star-spilt
Novelty of riches,
Rendered potent by the raving
Word-birth of witches

Poem: Heart of Pan

Pan.jpg

Fire, fire, keep your heart,
Stoked on beauty’s memory,
Weeds and narcissi interchoke
The lost pages of ephemera

Dazzled by the sparkling earth,
In which our hearts were buried,
Vine on vine tests the girth
Of rivers, untamed, unferried,

But bears no malice to the ford,
Of spells, uncast, unchallenged,
Bitterness fed on bitter dregs
To meet your mind’s trepanning

Yet still on darker days beset,
All hollow notes winnowing,
The music of time’s idle regret
When the pipes of Pan are blowing

Poem: Foreknowledge of Demeter

demter.jpg

In heat-deadened late summer,

Desiccated umbels scratch the sky

In dense clusters, weaving between

Nets of wizened harvest

*

Oh, sweet Ceres, flowing overland

From waving field to unslaked furnace,

Bloom and witherance of Persephone,

Blunt Hades’ malady seeks to burnish

*

Tarot cards offers glimpses of ruination,

Pausing between fingers of venomed bites,

Majestic bliss before the cold coronation

Of pallid partners deprived of lights’

*

Vivifying nurturance, sweet heliotropic cadence,

Pasturing all lover’s in the sun’s warm lea,

But I am sick – my mouth too laden

With sores to savour this intimacy

*

With nature, with life, with cold speckled showers,

Running in beadlets down waiting skin,

I cannot feel the parting kiss,

I cannot let your lighthouse in

Poem: Kafka’s Child

sabbath-phantoms-hi.jpg

The pen follows in pain’s footsteps,

Hurrying over stony ground,
Perched precipitous over the mouths of whirlpools,
Jealousy and agony churn and ferment,
Into a brew of vintage inadequacy

To love, with so many hungry mouths,
Gawping at you, like raven’s young,
How can I hope to ask my portion –
Beg the kisses that curse my tongue?

Sad and proud,
I starve in the corner,
Minister of my own dereliction,
Kafka’s child – melancholy and wild –
Indulging the art of imperfection

So, I cut loose,
Hoping you’ll chase me,
For love’s assurance I’m not forgotten

How can I believe
You’ll truly love me,
When all below the waist is rotten?

Poem: The Argo In Llandudno

argo

Reading in the dark,
Searching for the words,
The secret sentences, revealing themselves
As prophecies in dense paragraphs,
Hedgerows of typeset,
Labyrinthine and thorny,
Where meaning is obscured
By the beauty of its own clarity

From promenade to pier,
Ascending The Great Orme,
My skull yeasty with hallucinations,
The purple ling, bugloss, furtive harebells,
Whispering secrets across foggy turrets

Then St. Tudno’s emerges, cliff-perched church,
Its gravestones sea-stained, purified by lichen,
My mind burdened with the history of astrology

Because the stars knit everything together,
More rawly and obscurely than a dire heart’s
Lost love, of yearning crossing over many
Lifetimes, orbits wrestling with ecliptic
And equator

These soldiers of equinoctial precession
Tell each one of our tales,
The millstone grinding Fate
From the roots of Polaris

The Argo has gone to The Underworld;
My heart rests on the head of Canopus