Poem: Sex In The Winter

croc

Winter is the time for love,
Getting naked before the fire,
Headlong in the hearth,
Our bodies soft and warm
To elegiac cracked branches,
Wind threatening to chew up the house
Where origins grind apart

With the trees bare,
Asymmetry of bones everywhere,
Reflected in Death’s ribs,
What can we do but grow fat,
Fucking to the scent of burning pine?

The fire makes you sweat,
Painting your body with my lips,
Squeezing your belly, fermenting
Elixir from your breasts,
Everything descends thighwards,
To the Gateway of Womb,
Gravity is a sweet thing
When it weights me to you

You fuck me because I am not you;
I fuck you because you are not me

And why not?

For out in the woods,
The wolves are taut, alerted,
The sands in the hour glass,
The creatures in the swamp;
To dust we’ll be converted

So before we die
And the only worms to penetrate us
Are the sisters of putrefaction,
Let’s taste what little pleasure there is to be had
In this world of perpetual woe

With the rhythms of the sea,
Madness of a gale,
Severed heads on battlements impaled,
The guards will capture us, mid-orgasm,
And what’s left of our moribund lust
Will be the breeding zone of crows

So kiss me, darling,
And let me squeeze you,
Before time chews off our toes,
Death isn’t the end – just another kind of sex,
So the loving one knows,

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Poem: Trip to Birmingham

clock-tower-on-a-rainy-day-theresa-napolitano

To make the train tide bearable,
Hallucinating mountains in the mist,
Invading Midlands with Celtic madness,
Obscuring horizons with mind escarpments,

To stop the crush of people,
The crossed knees, twitching fingers,
Glazed eyes with hermetic headphones,
The invasion of territory,
In this enclosure of ribs,
My soul needs space to breathe

Disembarking at the university,
Riding the stripes of zebra crossings,
Spectral, the clock tower,
Phallus of the diurnal, emerges,
Dictating the lines of tidal students,
The glowing face, a giant’s candle,
Luminating the cold supper time of Winter

Students regard me as a thing to eat,
What am I – a new professor?
Some expert on the Permian Extinction,
Or the magma inside ourselves?

Truly, a universe, but a universe
Excited by the discovery of itself,
Attaching microscopes and electrodes,
To its limbs and excrescences,
Seismographs to measure the shudders,
It feels inside its soul

If I could just turn back the clock,
And roam silent down empty corridors,
Stick my tongue in marble’s frozen blood,
The haemoglobin inside the cells
Of a monolithic structure,
The lifeforce waiting behind a suture

Then in a dazzling array of colour,
I could be my sister, my father, my brother,
And with no one to read time from my entrails,
The coroner would leave me alone

The city is a colourful thing,
Resting cancer in my bones

Poem: Scarcity and Piezoelectricity

magnetism-justin-struble

Yearning to learn the world through you,
Resultingly incommunicado,
The Geographer’s brains dashed,
No longer stalking ley lines,
Dowsing the aether with magnetic bones,
The normality of things tinged with a romance
Souring to non-completion

Saturn in his horned house,
Leers at lion hearts,
Hard work, obstacles, drudgery,
The onus of space and time,
Leaving hope at the terminus
Of so many calendars,
No day enjoyable just for itself,
But for the lure of what it might lead to

II.
The only reified thing is past,
Museum of petrified memories,
Relics of brief happiness,
Walking on cold beaches,
The way you took off your underwear,
Laying on your back,
Splayed legs inviting me home

Sleeping, enwombed in engrams,
These memories can live,
My cord umbilical, leading to you,
Not a putrescent present

III.
Had you come,
I would have said:

“This house is 500 years old;
In it are tenants of morphic resonance,
The magnetic remains of so many struggles,
The pain, hope, loss, of all these centuries,
Refined to a single structure.

“Someday, you too will die,
And your body, relinquishing its minerals,
Became a fountain of sand, of limestone,
Of jewels, which, christened by millennia,
Your ancestors will mine,
To lend hope to their own thirsty struggles.”

But a speech unprettified
By no one hearing it,
Rusts in the mouth
Into copper Verdigris,
Traded on currency’s disenchantment

The economics of Scarcity,
Run the weathered heart,
Making sacred
The rarity of fulfilment

Poem: The Flagellant of St. Mary

Flagellants

Coming out of the cold,
The cathedral swallows me,
Digested in its stone belly, malformed,
Another soul lost in masonry,
Another thread in the cosmic carpet,
Another crypt of passing years
Who momentarily walks

From another chapel,
Far away as The Southern Pole,
Voices are caught in webbed transepts,
As I am caught in yours

The whole day I’ve tormented myself,
Bearing guilt for whom I cannot reach,
Those bridges of glass,
Locked in frozen waves,
I am not the key,
Trapped in a man’s body,
No breasts, no blood,
No moon-rent thighs,
No softness to usher in
The tidings of a mother’s heart

For gendered thus,
An evil history is my inheritance,
My very form a symbol of rapacity,
Corruption and vile molestation

I can do nothing right in your eyes

But reaching out,
How fain would I warp this skin,
Invert my genitals,
Hollow myself a womb,
Just to release you from yourself,
Be parturient of your happiness

Skulking in graveyards,
Clothing myself in the skin of ancestors,
All their bodices, and muslins, and Catholic veils,
The Priestess hiding in the gloaming

Can’t you see what lies it all is?
Behind this masque of body,
The Venetian rites of tubercular quarry,
Peel away presence, the whole cosmos
Is the mist of my luminous ashes,
My passion is the sun,
My coolness the moon,
Their union the love I give you

But man-bound, all is odium,
Emasculated by being a man,
I am a half-way thing,
Neither here nor there,
There is no vacancy, no hollow,
In which my love is welcome,
A holy well nobody seeks,
A pilgrimage nobody walks

Behind the silence of my mind,
The Soul is the one that talks

II.
Nevertheless,
I must cohabit with dualities,
Trade in falsehoods,
And gendered neuroses,
Evermore my own flagellant,
My vicious atoner,
In the Chapel of The Mother of God

If I cannot be the Virgin Mary,
Wombless, I wander in Nod

Poem: Shepherd’s Home

shep

Closed for refurbishment,
Your body old sandstone,
Invasive ivy between your ribs,
Sheep-haunches scratched against your bricks,
Looking out cold on a field of rooks

Still, we cling to the past,
Mourning the loss of openness,
Where we once found love,
Only ramparts and battlements,
With scars, over-touched,
Prompting unwanted wars,
When all I needed was a hug

So, let’s tear up the carpets,
Burn all the furniture,
Drive out the harpies
Squatting in the aviary

These walls are still thick
And ripe for love,
There is still a hollow before the hearth,
Where we can ensconce ourselves for winter

Wanting to find you sweet,
I only come away bitter

II.
I carry on as shepherd,
Watching my flock die,
One by one, growing thin,
Wool stained red by tooth of dog

I live among ruins,
Bat dung dwellings,
Approaching tentatively with a candle,
You never dare to come in

For what home can I offer you,
Among all this carrion?
Where my rugs are all of stranger’s skins,
Finding jewels in all my sins

No, you love the cold of the North,
Not my cold, the cold of the South,
Skin picking off the corners of my mouth,
My icicled spine,
Merging with tree bark,
To lay with woodlouse and loam

Now I am the Shepherd’s bothy,
Now I am the shepherd’s home

Poem: Eruption

fire.jpg

A mad moment of clarity,
All the errata of darkness,
Filtering through venules of light,
Chasing into temples of celebration,
The soul’s fiery festivities

And what will these fires ignite?
Dancing in fertile conflagration,
All those agents of Mithras,
Whirling,
Exploding,
Lapping up light in unending channels,
Perfecting Thunder’s Animus

Of course, the ground cracks,
Lava caressing broadening fissures,
The world makes revelations
In the most disastrous of abruptions

Because exposes of the soul don’t come cheap,
Costing nothing less than the price of peace,
Invading every stratus,
Every acre of stability,
To usher the new age in

Now the world has collapsed,
Now the world will begin

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

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: 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: 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