march 2022

 

                                (i)

 

…coronach, coronach

tell me how to weaken my soul

 

for I speak as a stone would speak

as a man of phenocrysts

 

as a woman wedded to the underworld

even as a child eaten by walls

 

these attenuated promises

this cracked, red soil

 

that seems to dissolve all things

so tell me, how do I lament

 

this universe’s passing

I am a mere rumour

 

an atom deep in the darkness of a stone

I cannot sing

 

and no-one can reach in here

I exist only as an error exists

 

as a man of air

as a woman of water

 

even as a child in flames

so tell me, how do I sing the coronach…

 

 

 

 

 

                            (ii)

 

…as the future closes-in on this dark face

the sun slips unseen into the eyes

 

and, just like a thief, it sits quietly 

burning the truth

 

the truth of these avenging angels 

these exterminating angels

 

full of secrets and attrition

even the promise of one last fulfillment

 

this immense, dark face

this vast, silent thief

 

stuffing the world into a bag

truly our finest hour

 

feeding the flames 

and watching as the white smoke rises

 

into the future 

into the bricks

 

the forgotten marks of a child 

its silhouette and secrets

 

its aspirations and silence 

its world stolen by the sun

 

truly our finest hour…

 

 

 

               (iii)

 

…the ample sky waits

disclosure must come

 

treachery must break

and a man must see

 

and yet there are veils

there are masks, shadows, curtains

 

cloaks, sheaths, hoods

a great, unending epidermis of dreams

 

of gratuitous, sticky layers to pull aside

dig through, enumerate

 

probe and burn

and yet, yet the sky just waits

 

releasing the occasional shower

as though already knowing

 

what is behind the beneath and the beyond

and this pulse in the tips of my fingers

 

is my own colossal naivety

for disclosure itself may be treachery

 

there is ample room

and yet, yet a man must see…

 

 

                     (iv)

 

…today I awoke with the world’s blood

 pouring into my mouth

 

its appalling genius had arrived 

and I watched as some tyrannical mind

 

threw itself over my body

and fed expletives down into my veins

 

then suddenly, all around me 

thousands of severed heads

 

fell from the sky

and everyone of which I saw, was my own

 

and I became tarred by shame 

by a lonely indifference

 

a headless, soulless outcast 

that was, and yet was not, me

 

because, mixing confusion with confusion 

I had lost myself

 

and this, I knew

was exactly how the world’s genius

 

had turned evil

this, I knew

 

was why I would never sleep again…

 

 

 

                         (iv)

 

…the centre hesitates, gravity fails

and the earth breaks out

 

into this gleaming, black ocean 

trailing behind these strange

 

green luminescent ribbons

these threads of faltering conscience

 

love, perception, compassion

that frontier between truth and truth

 

gone awry

this war of the unknown and the shapeless

 

such epic phantoms

such poetic lies

 

a dark, dark carousel indeed 

this ghost planet

 

this hapless thing 

where the sequinned beauty

 

smiles reassuringly

as she is finally sawn in half

 

in the cool night air

that never seems to end…