1982

 

 

A voice begins

 

 

Then a voice begins
from my mouth
its effort winging
toward some blurred sun
of longed-for clarity
or coherence

The voice tries at that
but stumbles
in a library of fog
shifting light along
walls of code
like mute cries

Within this brain
an acoustic slum
for unclean signals
prey of dreams
a strange tide fills
and drains
through the self
its text.

 

 


 

 

Speak

 

 

A light goes on
in prisons of the head
struggles for response
shreds of recognition
and vision
as an escape
into purer air
unbreathed

So rise in my throat
with your heat
ascend in signs
unspeakable
speak to that core
split every sound
into its bones
where no sense could swell
or endure
in futile blood
matter opening up
metal buzz
in my mouth
an abortion
of words.

 

 


 

 

Flame song

 

 

Voice
unleash your flame song
burn through any gloomy heads
or hearts
their throttled beats
spooked by heavy-handed sound
deformed
in these new-spun days
after loss of set
and series
say never shout
nor grate in your bond
from severity

Voice
chime quickly on this pulse
until you are wrung dry
ringed in black earth
by empty skulls
that sombre structure
sequenced
with numbers writ
before such things were heard
or your soul took wing
soon as a tail could twitch
you’ll be stretched
between those flames.

 

 


 

 

Fall

 

Fall then voice
through dream-effects
from writing play
serpents of meaning
fall

Thrust among old verses
you know the style
understanding palls
but a poem yet calls
along words twisted trails
cramped coils in sound and spit
contortions flailing to flower
when two options
seem equally implausible
even minus lines that fail
the question is yes or
nothing at all

Fall
without loneliness
across imagined space
song raving an orbit
like some congealed face near Dog Star
on a slab of darkened air
sharp-stitched light
amid night
while constellations hum

Fall
where poets go to die
can we find those shores
do I see them lying
rhyme-drained
lacking sperm or egg
bards washed-up
lips still moving
a few bubbles more
froth between
bile and bladderwrack
beached now
our lemmings of the storm.

 

 


 

 

Imagination

 

Imagination
today I am weary
your ever-seeking hands
have already spread lusty verses
down my yielding lines
now you are away
stirring other fires
in more violent eyes
I want an item
to keep me company
something not seen by you
from what remains
perhaps only margins
are yet unsearched
thus wandering through
abandoned works
I find a tiny bump
upon the surface
then scrape until
my hungry fingers show
a solitary full stop.

 

 


 

 

An unloved heart

 

I lie
hands empty
as an unloved heart
embraced by cloth
while outside
every footstep sounds a stranger
and someone else’s night
in another darkness.

Lamp still burning
I fall asleep.
Moths batter the window
I dream of insane wings
my face against a barrier.

You do not hear me.

 

 


 

 

Yearning for women

 

Women are on their way, my friend,
soon we shall be rivals
our confused eyes shining
resolution growing weaker
as poise erodes.

Laughing, they will likely compare us
with various creatures
upon two legs or four,
each lowly form in turn
serving to picture our radiant faults.

So, while this night is still coloured
by vague flushing hopes,
let us speak of our yearning
for women
before they arrive.

 


 

 

Skull-floor

 

Down in the brain-dark
word-dark
down on that skull-floor
where verses are threshed
and bilious bubbles
shape in some sludge
of old dead hopes
there I’ve had to make a home.
Down in the word-dark
where I hear you
who are above this floor
don’t think I can’t feel
your footsteps
on my skull.

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