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.

Interstate / Intestate

Is my soul conceptual?
Is my soul pre-occupied,
If my soul exists at all?
Like foetus feelings in a womb
I heard her moving
To a tune, or maybe
I can explain this all
As simply a rumour or two.

Midnight driving,
Interstate,
All the lights askew.

Dear soul, if I neglected
You, I will provide my
Penance, armistice
From parlances of daily
Dues, and I am certainly
In deficits accrued.
Next time around,
I hope that there is one
True guide to growing,
Nurturing and
Preserving you.

Meanwhile, intestate,
I remain convinced that
Souls of Popes
Are one same great weight
As souls within
Our populous deprived,
The homeless and
The destitute.

But for now, dear soul,
There’s nothing more
I’d say from my deep
Emptiness and sorrow,
No, nothing more
That I could do.

Water Slide

We enter by a dark
And elevated chamber;
People do this, apparently,
For their own entertainment.
Yet atop those chlorinated
Steps where re-used water
Pours back down rusting
Spiral stairs beyond where
Semi-naked people stare
Up towards me
Or at least the
Approximation
Or vicinity of me
Expectantly and patient,
I have nothing to give.
Instead, I observed
On this heady pilgrimage
A phlegmy edge of
Chewing gum,
Masticated and
Impressed behind this
Aluminium balustrade
I cannot touch.
An English teacher
Some thirty years ago
(Although I recall
This moment as if
Furloughed by Time and
Just further below
A moment ago), expounded
On how gum survives
Within large intestinal
Tracts for three years
Or more, which he imparted
As a matter of fact,
And though that Mr E.
Is now deceased and outlived
By you and I and all
Those innocent eyes
On those rows below me,
All I know is how
He used to pull me by
My ear until my ear
Then reddened, and there
And then, my soul was
Deadened. He also said
Or instead proclaimed
That should you drink
From water fountains
Within the central city,
That very same fluid had
Reduced and sluiced through
Eight other bodies already.
From where I am standing,
Inner tremblings
Vertiginously,
There is little difference.
So in this hellish place
I find amalgamations
Of my two severest fears:
Water, and the populous
Within this easy confluence.

For a vast majority
Upon this downward
Uncontrolled trajectory
Where I am shouting
With all my internalised
High cacophonies
They are having fun
And bless them yes
They are laughing.
Buffeted from side to side,
Elbows bruised,
Points confused,
My soul paramedics
On standby, they know well
I create and decorate
My private forms of
Self-inflicted torture.

Far north from here,
The heavy skies of Scotland
Brew a murder or two,
Or at sixes and sevens,
Whilst I am thrust from
The open mouth
Of a rusty and very
Asthmatic serpent
Into this new heaven.

Outside, An Ocean

Outside,
An ocean
Of constant motions,
Lush tropical abundance,
Yet all I cradle are ashes
Charred from bark
And burnt rubber plants,
Unusable coconut
And a poisoned palm –
The bark itself carved from
A mythical phoenix-tree
They discovered
Accidentally
And nonetheless marked
And later diseased –
This would have been
My self-sufficiency.

If no man is an island
Mr John Donne
And Mr John Dryden,
Then why does my lonely abode
Align with the limits of
My aspirations so comfortably?
I have seen in deep reposes
Those ghosts who come and go
For whom there’s no repelling;
Sometimes they stayed a while
Perhaps from curiosity,
Or perhaps their own
Uncertain form of loneliness,
Yet never so long
As to find me compelling –
This writer without hands,
This tongueless orator.
They always stole something
Out of nothing, or would
Confiscate our materiality
In the end –
Glass from oriels,
Tiles from steeples
And church-roof lead.
This is why, to hold the pen,
I maintain my right to an island
With hopes and invocations
For better times ahead.

Tombolos

Sometimes I could not feel
My feet or my hands,
These extremities
Of my experiences,
Socially tied
Like isthmuses
Providing havens
For radicals and
Eminent pariahs
From the edges of
The Hesperides,
Unable to return
To our homelands
For fear of persecution
Or reprisals
(Or if not the Hesperides
Then the Cyclades
Or Sporades, or if
Not the Sporades
Then the Great Orme
Or the Rhins of Galway
And also Blakeney Point
Where my tame grey seals
Sunbathe on sandbanks
And I know each one
By name for we are
One and the same),
I grew up believing
Radiators were designed
To handcuff hostages
By the mist of international
Politics – in lands
Without plumbers or
Thermostats, but wild
Celebrations which also once
Blinded a man as shotgun fire
Fell back down to earth –
Before returning by
Diving back in to
My childhood, one day
I remember vividly,
Colluding in my empty room
With an atlas,
A tiny life ahead
In parentheses,
Until I observed,
Dropping that great book,
My feet and my hands
Turn in to translucencies
Of lapis lazulis and shiny jade
And my wonder reverted
Into horror then
As I climbed up inside
The used husks of my future,
Where my whole long
And arduous life filled
With silent furores
Became a faded photograph,
In a family album
No one opened ever again,
Nor blew dust off
In that boarded-up house
From its light blue cover,
And what was once,
A long time ago,
A gold leaf letterhead.

Tuesday Mornings

Tuesday mornings, bright
Sunshine, as white as
Appallingly lupine teeth
On the necklace of Life,
And so I close my blind;
Outside, a recycling lorry
Cruises through this
Bluesy estate
Like a finless basking shark,
Filled with impending menace
But with no fish in its reach,
Turning in circles
Of bottles of bleach;
Oblivion surfaces, and
I recalled how most of our
Recycled plastics are shipped
To Malaysia, or Indonesia,
(Such is the warp in our media
That one death on our doorstep
Creates an outrage equivalent
To twelve thousand Uyghurs
Slaughtered, fathers, sons,
Mothers and daughters,
And so we are not at all
Infuriated by profits
To be made from a safely
Consumerist sham),
This in their saguine halls
They call the Local Angle,
I call it a derelection of
Empathetic humanity;
We are always shifting our problems
Around as though brushing
The ice of our collective
Societal conscience
Will push these Ailsa stones
Of our hope just beyond the bar;
The green bins are rumbling
With caterpillar emitics
As their stomachs are emptied;
The trouble with recycling
Lies in it’s false economics,
Some plastics are usable
Just twice and many are burned
Or buried – people most in denial
Are those who sing their party notes
The highest, and they are marching
With placards to back their
Kleptocracy and their
Oppresors who wear
Their wigs with pride,
And clip-on earrings with
Mother of pearl and gems
Translated as woebetide.
I am surrounded by ghosts;
I surrendered my soul so long ago
I forget what she should feel like.
She too was salvaged and reprocessed,
Yet I do not recall acceding to this,
Thrown into a blight where
In the night we are comandeered
And the worst-off disappeared,
Blessed are those left only
Disappointed.

I live in a world of the
Politically-appropriated woke
And their tokenistic gestures;
This last week a sportsman
With whites and willows was suspended
For racist language beffiting
Our idiocracy, only to be replaced
At the very next wicket
By an interchangeable
Transposed
Xenophobe;
Social media is an oxymoron.
We have international footballers
Being asked to consider
Not taking to the knee
In solidarity for our worldwide
Sisters and brothers
Because although they have been
Subjected to abuse for
This symbolism, this feeling,
So as not to offend those
Of this idiocracy no less,
Who took offence and in
The ample caverns of their minds
Transcended their affront into
The boos of the unevolved
Who thought their bleak
Cause more potent, more worthy,
Those from the grossly inflated
Self-imposed judiciary
Of moral impotence and rectitude,
While our Government of Pelicans
Introduced a Bill wherein they are
Proposing to traduce the aid we give
To reduce the hurt and pain we made
From Sana’a, and Aden, to Gaza
And on to Tripoli and Khartoum,
Not to mention Hong Kong,
Chittagong and everywhere else
Our forefathers with their
Bigotry and intolerance
And slavery and injudisciousness
Would tread on the neck
Of sovereignty, well, these people
Are still bleeding and our
Blessed parliamentarians
Are cutting the cord and
Cloth of humanity they said they spun,
A dress on the men disguising such brutality
There’s four billion sterling less
Dispersed to those we made worse off,
While the liver-gazers protest
At consecrations, statuesque,
Of those now deposed in rivers
Where on that barren plinth
The future racists and despots
Are already being sculpted.

The day we ask the careful
And the kind, the thoughtful
And considered, to moderate
Their conscience and their
Language and their actions
So as not to offend
The racists and the zealots
We may as well burn our books
And drown out all law-abiding people
We once demeaned and diminished.

I pulled up my blind using a Roman string.
The laughing, noisy workers had gone.
The sunshine still blinded,
So I pulled the blind back down,
Made a coffee, thought of times
I knew of human tears,
Went upstairs, undressed,
And fell asleep exhuasted
On my single bed
For a hundred thousand years.

The Empty Chest

Pity those you left behind
From your fifteenth circle;
Sighted yet by you left blind,
We wear these robes in purple.

Grieve for those who unlike you
Refused to die through choice;
All moments ever lost anew,
Death sings without a voice.

Warm yourself with winter cloaks,
Sincerely, I hope that you do;
No hearts here carved on homely oaks,
No candles for the untrue.

Some loss cannot be quantified
No matter how we measured;
There are no numbers left to guide
To those we would have treasured.

Fog

Just when you think you are
Near that very end,
But you are not,
Like becoming aware that this
Interminable book is
Published in many volumes,
Cursing its unknowable author
For your youth and your loss,
Or a film the university tutor
Required you to study lovelessly,
Even though he himself yawned
Through his own seminar;
Teeth like a caught makerel’s,
Dark and doomed and sharp;
Only to discover there would be
A trilogy of liquifying dross.
He vaped, and looked you up.

Or conversely,
When you think you have
More steps to take,
Feet forward,
One at a time,
Wherewithal,
Seeing with each imprint,
Tentative rubber tread,
Success is the end,
Yet only to fall;

So this, then, is my life,
Like being on a pier and
Trying to make sense
In a dense unending fog.