september 2019

 

                                   (i)

 

...these bare hills break the winds with such ease

and ’though the solitude is vast and breathless

 

and these rains and crows

constantly argue with the sun

 

yet I will walk, walk and walk

until the ground reclaims my mind

 

for the earth eats memories with such ease

the hills swell, the rains rise

 

and with every step I take

the air gasps for breath

 

the rivers hide their secrets

and the land will, as ever, wait

 

but surely there is a way to renounce

this narrative that mocks my body

 

that sweeps into my throat

every wayward conceit of mankind

 

no wonder I begin peeling the bark from trees

and looking under the rocks in the river

 

searching for myself

but there is nothing, nothing to find

 

my mind has disappeared...

 

 

 

 

                          (ii)

 

...again today the seen-unseen hand reappeared

a glinting, steel illusion

 

a scalpel dressed in magic

and slowly it began to open and pull from my navel

 

these long strands of beaded words

endless rosaries of syllables and fat

 

each bonded to its neighbour

with the darkest of blood

 

language was leaving me

my humanity was bleeding

 

from a wound I did not recognise

and yet as the hand coiled

 

more and more of my soul to itself

so the harsh supremacy of the universe was clear

 

there is no assertive magic

no meaning to the darkest of all dark blood

 

just words that disappear the moment they live

and live the moment they disappear

 

they are strands of hair, beads of fat

pretty sounds that use breath

 

to describe something called the truth...

 

 

 

                             (iii)

 

...a cold, unerring ocean washes through my mouth

a femur slips from reach

 

several fingers detach

and my loose bones and teeth roll in the surf

 

my perpetual birth has begun

and all those burnt yesterdays

 

now rise conspicuously to become a conscience

a shoreline littered with insights

 

with waters permanently breaking

and running down my thighs

 

as though I am forever

giving birth to myself

 

this urge of the sea-bed

to ooze from my vulva

 

the unspeakable, red silt

that buries every line of verse

 

and so my perpetual death begins

and all the plus-or-minus intuitions in the world

 

will have absolutely no effect

when the oceans unerringly make landfall...