The Colour, That Colour

January 20, 2013 at 8:47 pm (Bodies, circus, Home, Out) (, , , )

That month, crisp
on evening of alarming skies,
some awesome shade (or other).
The iced grass crossroads of King Mab
barking orders
to stop.
He did now.

With home gone

he did now spit fire.
He did now juggle that knife;
learned there was no trick to it,
you just did it without dropping the blade,
swallowed the fire and winced
through the blisters. Bubbled
up throat.

Now he did feel that sharp
pick adrenaline fueling his shudder as he knew
by the way someone stood
that they meant for their next word to be brutal.

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Digger

June 16, 2012 at 9:11 pm (Home, Observations, Out) (, , , )

Why on earth do you do it?
The mud on the knees and seat of your jeans give you away;
the dirt that lurks under your nails
shamelessly for days following.

I’ve seen you
at night
digging.

Do you think you’re some kind of
horticultural vigilante
Digging up flowers and seeds,
some with old roots, deep and tangled into nests
some seeds, barely sprouted, embryonic.

Don’t tell me you’re acting in the name of some
high botanical justice.
I’ve seen those you leave bereft:
Tiny, Mr Phips
tending to chrysanthemums alone
since 2004;
Lindsy, and Helen with her round belly,
who just want one shot at the white picket fence.

This morning I found a baby shrub
leaning against the kitchen door.
It’s leaves pale and waxy,
covered in the delicate blossom of some older tree
like a mould.

You sap stained murderer,
why on earth do you do it?

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I’ll Be Your Mirror

May 14, 2010 at 7:56 pm (Halves, Out) (, , )

I thought it was her at first, my fairy girl. Hair all purple and bright sour green, mess of synthetic fibre, wool and dyes, little fingers interlocked against the curve of her belly. But when I looked into those eyes, their steel woke me,
and I saw you,
rising out of the water with the metallic shimmer of black oil clinging to your skin and matted hair. You looked good. You looked fed, and you smiled as we lay on our naked bellies, laughing and whispering into the stones.

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Mouth’s Cradle

May 4, 2010 at 7:08 pm (Bodies, House, Out, Rooms, Sea) (, , , )

I once bought a pair of statues at an antique market. Just under a foot high, rough clay, light and hollow. The man behind the counter was called Peter. He knew me, and he knew what had happen to my boy, so he sold me them cheap. The Lovers, he called them. They were meant to be placed standing close, as if they were about to link arms or embrace; and embrace they did in that narrow old box Peter packed them in, all cushioned with curls of polystyrene. When I got home I put them either side of the fireplace. The grate was tiny as it was, and those two dwarfed it. They were so shapeless and crude, I think they were meant to be naked but I couldn’t tell which one was the lady, if there even was a lady. I called them Pepper and Illinois just in case.

*

He wasn’t a homo or anything, he just really loved Owl. Cracking bloke, all belly laughs and corduroy, round tum resting on skinny frame. Owl was kind enough not to mention his children, so in return he would never bring up the small matter of the fleshy fly food pipe filler found one afternoon festering in the heat of the wall cavity.
He had sat there in the plaster and dust, his thumbs kneading the moist tissue with a vacant repulsion. They were lungs; they were very, very small. Almost pink in places, patches of yellow dirt and rot mottling the left side where they had lain slouched within the pipes. This man knows that his body is soft. If he could only get past those solid bones, perhaps he could rip past the sinew too with all his strength, and then grope gently at the malleable mess of organs in his cage. Soft, soft, liable to give under his own bones. He holds the lungs cold and firm.
There was the slighted squelch as the tissue gave way under his nervous thumbs, he looked at the dented lungs in disgust and sank further to the floor. He had no idea how they came to be pipe filler, but then there they were, all fleshy and fly food in the heat of the walls. Staring blankly into the iron-grey of the fireplace, he gets to thinking about Owl. Perhaps it is Owl who put them there, an Owl from more innocent, vigorous time. Both the lungs and the blue baby boy were fleshy little objects of a more innocent time.

*

I don’t know whether it was sleep or madness or Owl putting pills in my drink again, but something made me look down at my chest with this kind of thud-wet urgency and I see it split.
I tap his shoulder, “There is a big gash in my chest and it is making my shirt soggy.”
“Coy.”
“To be all sliced is not funny. Some things are funny, but this isn’t, even though it doesn’t hurt at all or anything. It just isn’t.” I pause, “Is it perverse to respect someone who is hardly respectable?” I keep my voice flat so that he will never know. He doesn’t answer, so I spit at him, “You’re perverse.”
“You’re naive.”
“Do you ever miss that stupid mermaid fuck by the sea, where is she? Waiting on a girl with neither a brain between her gills nor a cunt between her thighs. The brevity of your hope will murder you, little Pussycat.” He spits onto the sand. Owl crouches, taking a creepy crawly from under a smooth grey pebble and handing the squirmer to me. This one was a little like a worm. A small, wet theory that squirmed within the ear. I knew that really it could never wiggle inside my head, or tell me things I did not like, but I always felt like it might. It could. Stupid wee beastie. The worm never even entered my ear, not really.
Owl turns his back to me. He is facing a strange building, part pier part electricity pylon. It sprawls up and out into the ocean, all limbs of metal bars and green-grey planks of wood splashing out into the salt water, each bough conjured with astonishing momentum from the mollusced underbelly.
“What have you done, Owl? What?” I stare in horror, one hand pressed against my ears where I can feel the unbearable volume of something soft and supple wriggle behind my eardrum.
Iron limbs tangle and twist further and further out in to sea. It comes from his grey eyes, it comes from the land to eat the water, its boats, coasts, fish and oil rigs. Pepper and Illinois sit together upon the stones; man-sized but still statue shaped. They gaze this metal monster with their blank clay faces filled with sorrow, limbs thin, entwined. I look up into their crude shapes and I know that without the moisture of the sea, the rivers, their hope for clay children will turn to dust. With one last slow, sorry turn of the head, Pepper gazes at me, Pepper runs into the foam between the iron legs of Owl’s creation. Pepper turns to mud. The vague socket-shapes of Illinois skull twist painfully, a rough pallet hand clasped to the block of the chest as if somewhere within the solid earth, something has fractured.

*

He washed his hands until the skin cracked, scrubbed at his nails until the cuticles peeled back red raw. He drenched his fingers in soaps and oils and saline solutions long after the sicksweet smell of rot had left them. Pussycat knows that there is something soft between nail, bone, tooth and gristle. And he stares into the mirror. He sees the same old Pussycat he saw yesterday.
Taps flow soft chalk water into porcelain Pussycat leans in mirror-close forehead to glass eyes shut lashes grate against cool freckled cheeks lips part pale blue breath mist onto faintly steamed glass and mould the word – “Peter” arm raised over head inner forearm pale and cold against mirror rests upon fevered forehead Pussycat hides under arm and brows elbow level with ear with and with worm and he sighs he calls again “Peter” and fuck knows why.

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The Frenz Experiment

April 20, 2010 at 10:39 am (Observations, Out) (, , )

I read, “Friendships lost to a fractures marriage”, or something like that

And I get to thinking; why should any emotive stillness on this earth mean more to me than any other, including my own,
and how can nonchalance make me so nauseous?
Everything is flat acrylic, little coloured plastic shapes. All isolated, all lines, all beyond my concern.
Every word seems to be follow by some inseparable question of its relation to the centre.

(which today is me)
So to find every word ending in a raw stump where meaning ought to be is frightening.
A friend of mine once said that if you’re not too afraid to answer, your questions can take you to the core of the universe.

And so I look at his baffling theory-fantasy upon this little white page and feel no excitement. This lack is almost puzzling.
Yet even that doesn’t disappoint me. I realise this amazement. It’s gutless, it lacks the bite of reality,
hollow core, vapours above.

So I have written the sky, but it is only a word.

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Prisonic Fairytale

March 16, 2010 at 9:04 pm (Angels, Halves, Out) (, , , )

The stones were scarred here, masses of concrete in the distance built up into grey, oppressing Ts. Dry, delicate branches that were once tipped with succulent fruit turned to rot, and the berries became fibrous husks. Here, the faces of deer were human, vicious smooth and red. And here, Eleanor fed me the machine, pushed pins between my lips and never once broke the skin. We lay side by side on our rock. Nightly, the frost pulled our skins tight to our bones as Eleanor taught me the cruelty of the stars.

Tonight I hardly hear, the ropes at my ankles have cut deep into my flesh. The deer have started to lap at the wound, their cold noses buried into my skin as the nip and lick. Eleanor can see this, her dark lips curl back like smouldering petals and I glimpse a blaze of smiling teeth.

“She is a whore” murmurs a voice in the hollow of my ear. It is Aylogue the scarlet mantis, it is Aylogue my oldest friend.
“A hoar, a hoar, an old hare hoar.” He scuttles across my cheek and rests upon my nose, pink, perfect round eyes so close to mine, “Our little sister won’t put herself away. Too stubborn to close her brain or cover her breast – her wits are outlandish.” The sky has become lighter and mottled, it looks dirty. Aylogue rolls his bulbous eyes to the clouds solemnly, “You never write me letters anymore.”

My hands are bound, old friend. It is all I can do to lie here, and sometimes think.
Most often, I think about the Autobahn. I remember the path it cut against the tedious green, the smell of concrete grazed with rapid panic. Some walked upon it unawares and turned to nothing. Not dust, nor a smear or a cracked man’s shell; they disappeared completely.

“The Autobahn is gone, my sorry one, the lesser machines along with it. With so many hundreds turned to vapour, the earth shattered it with shoots and roots, all forest and thicket again. It happens in circles, while you lay on your back and viddy times past. When we peel back the angel, out crawls the limbed beast.”

You are not a prophet, Aylogue. You are a scarlet mantis, and I want to leave this rock. The deer smile so sadly here and I do not like their look. Old friend, your talk of beasts frightens me. Our letters were so kind, once.

“And I remember when you were more than a sorry sack of straw. Then, your life was more than another lonely affair between a woman and her marionette.” He climbs upon my brow and stoops down to meet first one eye, then the other. His antenna brush against my eyelashes. “I see. Eleanor as fed you the machine. You soft flesh and blood can endure such strange tortures, provided that you are promised a little comfort. It is your gilded future that cushions this terrible grind.”

A clamour of rooks are cawing in the dawn madness. Wood pigeons, sparrows and finches, I remember a chorus of sweeter voices. Only rooks and ravens are left to tear savagely what little meat they can from these tangles of dry grass. Horned shrews, worms, dark, scuttling lizards; all things bony and dry. Frenzied in the light of the red rising sun, they are found in clamours and murders pecking dying trees to pieces. At night they roost upon the Ts to admire this moor, their battered nest. It is so beautiful, it is devastating. I remember Lylando, Ayolgue’s magpie friend. If beady Lylando could only quench his appetite for mantis, the two may be have become closer than brothers.
Your voice is clicks and murmurs, little more. Over this crazy dawn I can barely hear a word, climb back into my ear and whisper again.

Behold! Eleanor dances. The latent tar of the autobahn that rises with Eleanor’s seasons, so rises my poor lungs as if I spit colour into the air- And I wish that she had never put me here, or fed me that damnable machine! Today it strikes me as wiser to live far from her kindness.

Yesterday she took a fawn with the face of a beautiful woman and held it close to mine. It sat wide-eyed in the crook of her elbow and trembled, its dark lips parted in terror and confusion. I had never heard a deer cry before; I could never have imagined such an ugly sound. The tears when they came were like its face, a bright crimson. Supporting the fawn against her breast with one forearm, she took my jaw in the other hand and squeezed gently. If I did not comply I feared she would slip her hand to my throat; I swallowed. The tears tasted like the juice of rotting berries. I remember, juice from autumns ago, a staggering fawn (it’s shining eyes, wide lips, early pubescent horns) under old fruit it would wilt, legs wilt, stumble, crack.

The meadow, the dark eyes of a randy hare, the moon is useless, the earth is dull a resilient, our mother is gone. Gone and we are grown, tried and pining, we (Eleanor) shape the mud between our fingers, roads grow pure out of the meadows. Meadows of shit. Help, we are living in the bowels of a dying man! He doesn’t know us, he cannot feel us, our earth is humid. The shell of the machine, I think I am the shell, am the shell, am the shell, am the shell of each machine we have ever known.

Not everyone lays bound to have their heart rubbed raw by the rough sunlight. She is such a different creature to my own sorry wreck of skin, my bloated gut heavy with metal machine, my withered limbs spread idle and compass like.
“Oh, poor martyr. Oh, blessed spread-eagled star. My pity and admiration, truly.”
That poor patience of yours. It wears so thin, it scrapes against this weary ear. And yet so like a brother you are, I let you make a bed of it!

My live is riveted with compassion. Aylogue makes a home of my body and Eleanor dotes upon me tirelessly. She smiles prettily as she mops my midday brow, listening intently to my every groan. She brings me what shrivelled fruit she can, the more I starve the more she picks, and lays it beside me with such tenderness. As I strain against these bonds to pluck the up most berry, she strokes my hair soothingly and whispers encouragement, tongue darting softly against my ear.

Aylogue, did you hear that scrape? Things clatter a clutter in the nearby forest.
Someone has put the metal birds back. Wire contraptions, simplistic and delicate, resembling birds only in that they appear to nest in trees. They are, on the whole, spherical devices made with curved and jagged pieces of scrap metal held into their roosts by heavy chains that allow them to bounce and spin amongst the branches. These mechanical animals remain in their trees until rust causes them to either crumble or seize. Eventually, they will fall from their mother-chains and become forgotten, metal carcasses on the forest floor. But whoever used to put these contraptions in their lofty chain nests I never knew. They stopped replacing their fallen birds years ago, yet this morning I was met with their metallic melodies and scraping chirps. The wildlife of this wasteland is returning, slowly.

“Never. This forest had nothing before she, before the rocks. Quiet, muddied. The deer were dumb and expressionless once, the birds were fragile. Look at the glint in Eleanor’s whisky eyes.”
Whisky? Whisky sounds beautiful.
“A heady drink of fermented and fortified hops. Causes dryness, disillusion and sickness.”
It sounds vile. “It is vile, it is the purest of man’s merriment, drunk beyond those Ts.”

How fine it must be for these men who live beyond the stones to have both delight and sorrow in a single glass.
I know that one day Lylando will pull my last true friend out of my ear, leave my head still and silent. I shall become more picture than man without your clicking whispers. Aylogue, are you safe? Speak, I can hardly hear you breathe. If I did not fear missing you, I could rejoice in the negative space between clouds and eternal stars tonight.
I remember something, friend. Dots and lines and some instrument to make noises. Was this paper, Aylogue? Did I ever know paper? I have heard of it, I want to use it, is it a container? Could you keep whisky in paper?

Lines appear in my thoughts.
Perhaps the machine Eleanor has fed me is a metal bird? I could not stand that, those slight wires, thin steel of something that may as well have been alive, more alive than I ever was upon this rock.
Aylogue, brother, even the stones are scarred here, what chance do I have?
“None. It will not grow back, the machine is in your belly, stewing like a medicine, and Eleanor is smiling.”

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