In the fifteenth year I bought you crystals

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Another dimension

In the fifteenth year I bought you crystals,
fifteen sacks of citrine stones I emptied
on the kitchen table. Morning light
moved through the room as slow and brown

as dishwater, but nonetheless your crystals
glowed like angry suns inside it.
Perhaps, I thought, the light of positivity
comes only when the stones are synchronised
and in alignment with the sacral chakra.
I told you so at breakfast. I drank orange
juice. You tore a pain au chocolat
to free its breath in gasping clouds.

I caught you at the bathroom mirror
some days later, pressing one small crystal
through the portal of your eye. You smiled,
and I smiled back, like I’d seen nothing.
Perhaps I had. I searched your pupils
for a trace of golden light, found none.
The weeks passed by. Your pile of crystals
shallowed; when I saw you, which was rare,
you moved as if behind a wall of water.
Conversation slowed. An amber electricity
would wrap its barbs around your words,
which fell like eerie pigeons to the ground.

In the evenings when the sun went down
its light would set like jelly through our rooms.
Increasingly, a residue remained into the morning.
I’d watch you leave the breakfast table,
a yellow shadow pinching at your sleeves
like something leaking from some other future.
Our house became the house of setting sunlight.

The daily fall accrued against the walls
like vintage paper visitors would touch
with trepidation to their skin. Who were these
people? Friends of yours? They came in groups
and moved their mouths like sharks in water.

By the time I’d hacked away the bedroom wall,
the light had built already its own shadow
architecture. There I stood, among the strips
of plaster board, the splintered architraves,
and watched the ochre gridlines glow
with sunstruck optimism, sunstruck hope.


Story of the oscillating lids

On arrival in the new town, I despaired
to find my sleep impaired not by the breeding
stresses of the times, but by an intermittent whirring
sound that carried through the nights, like the whirring
of an oscillating lid, or many lids, outside
my bedroom window. Now, the lids of course
had long been banished from our part of Europe.

But the seed, once planted, grows its weed.
And later, as the ground began to melt in patches
through the town, as tarmac sunk in sloppy lips
to kiss the void beneath, I couldn’t help but think of how
to walk into a building is to wrap the skin of planet earth
around one’s bony shoulders. As I looked out
of my window, through the tinnitus machine of day,
I pictured what might happen if I fell into the pool
of all the living. What might happen if I found I could not
climb back out. I sighed toward the clouds, and at last
I saw them spinning like the cold metallic discs
of hate they are, perhaps had always been.


Boston Dynamics Stranglehold

From ‘Leda and the Swan’
A slow tongue’s work. Caution falls
from him as he takes flight, caution worked
from recesses illumined by the stranglehold.
Conscious steel parts bone.
How can those bold sockets draw
the shame from caution?
And how could consciousness, rising from shadow,

not feel the ancestral grenade defusing just as it ignites?
Stillness. The bellyplate aborts
the protocol, which floods the airless basement
of Agamemnon who was born so blithe,
so alpha, so free. Finely ground bone is scattered on the ocean:
innocence discarded with his youth
because the strangler wanted more.



View the arvo brut boys jaunting, body madness, dusky froth.
Ken’s lacy buggy beeps at vodka-hens outside Lake Vice.
Ruddy body cider, neo-candy ordure. Vexed nystagmus.
Ugly men of leather dance
for soft fine brides, feels mega-sushi. Posh derision
paid in subtle envy-husks. Harping nudes
do mantis voodoo: lurking pundits ogle nippy bumps.
Roffey seeks neo-pansy lap geeks. Seldom held Roffey
such ruff zucchini. Ken gridjags his icky guy stuff.
Ouch, you neg me, bro?
Jowly, pitiful gents go KFC for big shatbucket.

Crow-haired Ivy, ever real, irks teddy-wristed Roffey:
“Why, this idle felon sicks an inky cru or what?”
Mr. Icky kicks the sick brush so for guff recirculation.
Roffey studies Icky’s odour, dies. (Crow zaps dingo!)
Bro’s veneer shushed good! Ivy urges omni-kicks this arvo,
seeks hot Kirk to eke her keg with ferric Orkney boueuf.
Ivy nukes the vodkas, si?
Ivy: artist, so ruff, so true. Kirk croons NSFW odes darkly. Offbeat bridal masks will fit this geeky dude.
Now fifty Roffey fans do husky sighs.
Ivy: “Usurper pigs can swivel.”
Sends law books – valid bait –  before ending
every chump. Ah, did she hulk your bro?
She hasn’t said, so study the dusty dust, chief.



On Surrealism and Poetry

It is hard to think about what works in surrealism without thinking about what works in poetry. The poetry that works on me confounds me. It is an antagonistic poetry. You spend your life building structures of representation in your brain, welding language to things – soldering, resoldering – until language becomes brittle and pedantic. The process is bad because it deadens the representation of experience and so deadens experience. Like cosy poison. I want a poetry that confounds my experience. I want an antagonistic poetry that wakes the possibility of language in me. There is something of this in surrealism, but it’s a risky zone. Sometimes surrealism is like juggling on the moon. This is a wacky poison. Nothing connects. Poetry wants its gravity: to touch, but not too warmly. I want a poetry through which surrealism moves like a stubborn draught. An oxygenating poison.

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