Hepatic

Same thoughts,
Get over it
The counsel said,
Belly-brewed
Within a witch,
When she stirs
I start to twitch,
When I twitch
I start to think,
Gears will shift
And skin will itch.

Same thoughts,
Same day,
I was born
To be betrayed,
I was born
To know the stray.
Why this cursed,
I cannot say.

Death herself is
More or less
Conceptual,
Somewhat experiential,
A bruising myth
Handed from fathers
To their children
Like unwanted gifts;
Ushered in,
Silencing,
Rather than die
For certainties
I fly on a whim
That skims
Weatherfronts
In the far Hesperides.

Flatlining,
Drowned by
Duck-stooling
And cajouling Fate,
Stateless sister
Wearing midwinter,
A bleakly
Wielded and
Formidable
Conglomerate,
Unreformed and
Strange
Opponents.

One of my
Hispanic
Diseased
Hepatic
Blackened
Dragons
Is emerging in my
Synaptic troughs,
This one headed with
You are not good enough‘.
His thoughts are in crimson,
There are eels in his blood;
When he moves, I tend
To expend
Entire mornings lost
Watching windscreen wipers
Swiping in the same
Parking lot
I mentioned before.

Death is whittled
On whetstones of Time,
Sharp bladed Time,
And I am frightened
Of a place that is final,
A place definitively
Made without rhyme.

No Way Back

Forever will it be the case
That those I love most deeply

Are not the ones most likely
Dissipating in vague apparitions

To be missed every long grey
Overcast day.

When Love and Loss entwine
Through ramshackle

Outback outposts
In my abandoned mind

One suffocates the other
Until there is only ivy,

No jasmine for fragrance,
No berries for wine;

A vast and dusty plain ahead,
My road home, my signposts

Disappeared without a trace,
And I am standing here,

A village sank in sand
But gravestones remain standing

Throughout a land made parched
And perilous, so very long ago.

The Reason For This Evening’s Tailback

Deathly onyx cold,
When the layering curse returns,
As it always will and still unfolds,
Ravenous, his satiation made
Impossible, implausible,
Bringing new brocaded covers
With images of his solace
Although its story is well told,
I then become cold to my bones
And proximity is no requisite
For shivering from his grimacing
Chtonic, unobvious presence,
Timeless and with flashing teeth
On gums of gangrene and mould.

In this grim palace
A choice is not a choice,
Any meaning is void
And made obtuse,
Made meaningless;
Debased, your imagination
Weighed the same as gold,
Which he bought, and
Which he melted to
Gild the dumbstruck throats
Of statues in his home.

Unwilling guest, dreaded party,
I had torn up his red invitation
But a taxi arrived regardless.
Now I am bound with his
Interminable shadows
While he plays a consummate host,
Debonair, with silverware,
He spins on a cane of liquified hope
And this bleak trope is complete,
Gone with all cares,
They were strafed from wastelands
And in his darkness I grope for
The one way home,
That one truth path
He scattered within
A million mascarading bluffs.

It would be akin
To climbing back in
To the belly of a dragon
Having seen the knight
From within eviscerate,
Daylight sharply juxtaposed
Between swordtip and entrails
As he slices me out.
No, life, sunshine, heroes,
No you don’t.
Put me back on the shelf,
On the bleak rib and distral ropes
Where gastric flames
Did many a stronger man well-roast
And more so, yes, than me.

So, then, these true happenings
(With heavy heart I am re-telling)
Are made manifest
In men driving their many cars,
(Cars they keep on selling),
Parked by central reservations –
Early evening drifting snow –
Tailbacks ensuing,
Vows for renewing,
And with nowhere left,
Nowhere left to go.

Ancorato

Il mare mi ha interiorizzato;
Proprio come pensavo di essere stato rimosso
Ho ingoiato la sua ubiquità blu.

Questa tristezza incorruttibile,
Anti-materia, causa di elettricità statica,
La mia antitesi innaturale completata,

Lanciò la sua spessa corda dal ponte
E si è ancorata a me.
Mi trovavo su una banchina grigia

E anche se le persone passavano
Tutto quello che potevano vedere era ancora un uomo di riserva,
Prima che si rivolgessero ai caffè.

Tutti i molluschi sono silenziosi
Quando uno scrittore non può guardare i suoi strumenti
Non può guardare alla sua vita abbondante.

Ode To My Addiction

When feeling down in deeper depths,
Self-loathing flooding ten regrets,
The sure bouy’s back and surfacing fast
On waves that whisper ‘never last‘.

There is my rock to which I cling,
Where oldest sirens preen and sing,
Dressed in feathers I caressed
While pecking at my sunburnt flesh.

In succour I bloomed for an hour or so
But little considered my loosening soul
Would fill where prayers refuse to go,
In briny, speluncar fish-bone holes.

And though on sailing I depend
I always return to that place in the end,
The flock is feasting on my heaven
While my senses drain and deaden.

I convince myself, like many others,
That I’m alive and that’s enough;
My brothers below betray such comfort,
Empty-eyed beneath the bluff.

I woke, the awful crows transformed
In to an ambulance outside dorms;
A student there departs once more,
To a different, distant shore.

Shrapnel

Sometimes all I am able
To think about
Is how much I miss you.
Heightened like this, days
Become a singularity

And matter falls out of
Form. Couds fill the sky
To light’s diminution,
Resounding flatnesses
Fill fens in my mind’s
Resolution to turn itself

In, like a culprit for
Crimes it did not commit,
Preferring prison
To alternatives of freedom,
In these moments I cannot

Adequately submit a
Description or trace a single
Word unsaid or unfamiliar
Place which rest like shrapnel
Lodged in my head, disrupting

The usual waves replaced
With an abridgement, taking
Away the every day, replacing
Time with unforgiving motions,
The public and private spaces

Merge like fir cone coats on
A forest floor. I tread over
Deadening moss, and explore
Where I live on coastal margins.
There are giant trolls sleeping

Underneath some freezing stars;
Abject stars, promising soulful
Poetry yet as devoid of organs
Fit for a soul as decaying carrion.
You can see their breath form,

Those toeless ogres, with
Smokestacks from afar,
They morph from the cups
Of devastating magic in to
Sounds outside my window,

A roadworker’s drill, a mosaic
From children playing during
Break-times still. Occasionally,
The trilling from the throats
Inside starlings and lost angels.

All I can hear today
Is your disappeared voice,
All I can see today is
Your face unchanged and it
Devestates me, caught in time,

Caught off guard by a photograph
Framed where I sit on the lip,
I turn you to the outer world
For a while – I hope you don’t mind.
It’s as though my body is ill-fitting

Without you, but it’s not
As though anyone can return these
Particular loose garments,
The shops are closed.
The dots remain disjoined.

A profound lethargic depletion,
I should rest in that photograph.
I did not know I’d have to survive
Without you again. Existing
Here is the incomplete half.

Lifting Weights

Even beneath uncontestable rain
My weightlifting neighbour
Presses his bench; he strains
Biceps and triceps against
A violence of indisputable greys
A month before July. Contorted face,
I pray he does not look the same
When extorting sighs from lovers,
Sincerely he appears to agonise;
Self-afflictions behind a fence,
An audience of cypresses blink
Under dark green umbrellas.
I cannot justify nor rationalise
The constraints of the body,
And I furthermore pray
For his ligaments to remain
In place, for our ambulances
Are overwhelmed and our hospitals
Like Ministers for Roads
Offloading excess silicates
Have cancelled triple bypasses.
The barbells rattle and wheeze;
Barbaric routines, might I pray
One more time that he should find
WD40 in a kitchen cupboard, please.

Across the flooded lane, which ego
Dictates may as well be as wide
As the Irish Sea, wider than speech,
Wider than a bouyant comet’s tail,
Even beneath uncontestable rain
I fail in the never-ending bout
With myself, I’m the butterfly
Shadow-boxer punching metastatic
Targets which look like me,
Where no winner flouts his
New-found wealth, silver belts,
No podium nor medals nor
Pouting for swarming paparazzi,
Nor even simply the satisfaction
A man may find when pressurised,
Moving kilograms up and down
Under a turbulent kingdom’s sky.

A weight can take so many shapes,
And when a weight is lifted
We mean to achieve a sense of relief,
So why when I strive
To lift aloft my dumbbell-mind
All I find are aches and grief.

Half-Life

Even now, I remember well the half-hatched ordeals
Of that autumnal evening; beginning not with
Someone’s finding of the student,
(Not a friend, but a caretaker or cleaner),

And then the conjectures revolving into rumours,
Around the cold corridors of dormitories;
And again, the next day, nameless officers confirm and
Light up a truth which quickly dissolves

Like a tooth in a tumour, or a blinking eye
In the dark damp womb of our creations. Self-stopped
Like half a clock at the 19th hour,
Nothing more to absorb, confused, alone.

It did not begin when some other freshers planted candles
With a different future’s blossom, some flowers, some cards
Expressing half-life-sorrows, blocks of bewilderment
For a young man they neither addressed nor uncovered.

Twenty-two years have now slipped through that noose,
Twenty-two years of what-ifs and the bruises and confusion
Which do not diminish in those poor parental hearts,
A dominion where dear grandchildren are not born,

Where the extremities of life contract and reduce,
Where no one cries from their jaws for sadder times and joys,
Where a disease tore into graduation photographs and
Glasses of champagne once filled, left altogether untouched;

A thesis which unlocked the shift and pulleys of the universe
Unpublished; and an unmarried wife who wed her lesser wish,
(Died ten years later at his hands, discovered there in plastic bags
By tracker dogs, over the hills at Nightingale Woods).

Decades later, a specific chair was not moved into
A specific space at a celebration of alumni as they gobble port
And profiteroles in prestigious campus chambers,
Because no one there remembered, despite those dreams

Which govern and gnaw, without a name there is no lore,
They shifted on their feet, exchanging nouns and verbs,
They noticed people who whetted their mouths
Eating grapes and canapes in shades of green and purple.

No, it started many lives before, when someone somewhere
Did not say a vital word, a necessary term, a contract with Life
Left unassigned, unrehearsed, over and over until unlearnt.
Outside, Australia is burning.

And so we hurtle on, now unrepentant exiles of that time,
Post-internet, where anything seems accessible,
We stand still in illusions of luminous currents,
In the vacuum of chronically forgetful republics.