Monthly Archives: March 2011

Revenant in Texarkana

(For John Fahey)

 

You could be sour and demanding,

impossible, rude, spiteful,

childlike sometimes,

childish othertimes,

and you pawned your guitars for a

cheap room or another beer so we

couldn’t hear you play those

rolling blues-ragas,

dry like the prairies, leavened only

by the rain of real emotion learned

from being childish, childlike,

an American Primitive in

a forgotten America.

 

Relief

Relief flushes through me like a

great sea wave, taking with it

all I had assumed would be there forever,

leaving me washed up way inland

naked and destitute and

strangely safe.

Kitchen Imagination

One green spear of Cos slowly

turned up in water and I was watching

a great ship tip its bows skywards

as it prepared to bury itself

stern first in sea, leaking

lives, oil, crockery,

suddenly unspent shells,

parasols, band instruments,

air.

Perihelion

The great throbbing Moon rises

in the dusk over London,  pulling

the headlit traffic down

sodium-soaked channels

towards the nebulae of the

satellite towns where it is only

one light amongst many

and no one notices the

tug in their blood as she

sidles slyly above their heads.

Canute’s Tsunami

The sea was the whole world once:

it gave way (tectonically,

unwillingly, agonisingly slowly)

to land’s impatient, turgid thrust

but it has fought a slow and

asymmetric war ever since,

evaporating into the rain that

crumbles Everests into

the rotten stumps of teeth,

swallowing ships,

colluding with the Moon to

heap high tides on low coasts

and using Earth’s writhings to

unleash great waves of

unsowable salt over arable soil.

 

People are collateral damage in this war,

as irrelevant as cobwebs.

The sea will have back its dominion

and our folly is to think

we can stop it.

Osmosis

Tiredness rises like water sucked

through the rough veins of a tree

reaching the poor rotted twigs of my brain

sometime about now when

I want to talk to you

laugh a little

hold your hand– not

drop it insensibly.

The Droghte of Marche

Chaucer’s dry March starts drizzly,

dark and cold—not Minnesota cold but

cold for Kent, where his pilgrims

ambled to Canterbury, singing, telling

jokes, laughing, farting after a

good lunch, enjoying

each other’s company,

relishing the stories.

 

My fellow pilgrims tonight were

wrapped in the silence of loud

inaudible music while Kent

whooshed inchoately by—

Ebbsfleet, Gravesend, Strood,

Rochester—all starting my

mind from its blocks but

conversation killers here.

 

The train paralleled the ancient road,

the taxi left me at my home on it–

the same road, built by Roman soldiers to

expedite invasion, beckoned pelerins.

It was Friday night and there was

revelry aplenty but I didn’t want to join it as

the pilgrim road now leads to a disco where

the stories are drowned in sound.

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