Parables

Black squid ink
Descends through
These pebbles
Of my body,
My teeth,
My blood black,
Purple ribs,
A deep infusion,
A bruising
Poisonous sea,
As I sit at my desk
And reflect
On how I failed
And O yes, how
I failed again.

Unprepared,
Unmade for this,
Steam from heat,
Pendulums for
Pencils and
Abeyances
For where I am
Both sitting
Semi-respectfully
And not sitting too,
Fitting and yet
Not quite fitting,
Neither into life
Nor, of course,
My death anew.

Karyotype

Trapped in illusions
I myself have caused,
This world continuously
Seeping people as
Exfoliants strip us all
From its existential pores;
I do not want your phones,
I do not want your cars,
I want to be alone,
I want to be unadored.

These thoughts, then,
With contours like enormous
Connected isopleths
Conformed, in time,
To new rhubarb leaves
In my compost-sodden borders,
They themselves shaped
Like a huge rose-breasted
Bird’s throne, although
The red-throated male
Reincarnated and his chair
Became fit only for
A cutpurse with enemas,
For that’s what rhubarb
Is best-known for, a purge,
Or repurposed and reworked
Rhubarb-threads into
The hem of a green dryad’s
Arboreal wedding dress.

Obscene protusion,
How thoughts appear,
A universe’s canula
Dripfeeds iodine,
Feeds my vernacular,
Suppresses my dreams
In false vanillas.
Yet this annual resplendent
Explosion of rhubarb
Reminds me of reasons
And the seasons encoded
For this existence’s
Unknowable purpose,
And in that singular moment
I wanted a phone,
And I wanted a car,
I did not want to be alone,
And I would have travelled
No matter how far,
In that moment reborn
As The Stone Roses sang,
I wanna be adored,
Drifting through into
My waking thoughts,
A garden party next door,
A tournament match,
I woke with seccateurs
Held in my left hand,
Needle in vinyl,
Seeds upon grass.

Seven Abysses

Should you go to descend
Those infamous seven abysses,
Beware of the bones you’ll find.
I am not one for spelunking
In karst dolomites of my mind.

Endless mineshaft’s metal cage,
Canaries for the gasses;
From Flemish sellers
Brought those birds, sold by
Old oblast-men with molasses.

Rattling seven strata through,
No safety gear, no time for fear,
Down to a sunken pool;
Its secret waves will gently spool:
Thoughts are born in here.

Arriving in your evening light,
Sunsets seen renewed!
There’s no such thing as death
I said, collapsed on our bed
In a miner’s welfare cottage.

A Second Meditation

These moments
The mind repackages

Like well-used clothes,
Worn with both human
Necessity and splendour,
Vivid colours, from
Taffeta to cotton,
A logo, a label,
A sari from Goa,
A fashionable dress
You’d forgotten,
Esclavage necklace
A friend had lent
Before they moved
To the continent.
All these thoughts
Eventually deposed
And posted to buyers
From Guildford
And Frome,
(Or if not bought
Then decompose),

Yes, repackaged,
A repurposing.

In the end,
All will seem
Not moments,
But times long ago
Where we wore
Different clothes
On our bodies.