a night at the theatre

a night at the theatre. pic

 

I careened through narrow streets

in the darkest of Piccadilly and Soho nights

in ramshackle pursuit of a sea captain

while under my arm I struggled to carry a mattress

and all the time I knew it was absurd

but I kept up a dialogue with him, remonstrating

and arguing with the crew about why and how

he had parked his ship so close

to my car and blocked me in

 

Awake I am left with the residue

of confusion

and amazed at what goes on inside my head

when the day-shift goes out to play

and all manner of other characters move in

to the theatre of my inventions

that bristle with malevolent energy

to prick my pride and expose

my febrile hold on reality

so smile, please

so smile, please. pic for poem

 

in shreds

all torn, left bleak

the frayed edges still

are laid flat like mould

on the corpse of failed hope

 

the tired man

in the morning aches

for more fluid limbs

sunshine in the senses

and petrol in the tank

to deny accumulating years

 

sounds,  emotion, intercourse

all around normal

cease to spark or lift

this dependant soul

until in truth

conscience pricks self-pity

 

so, praise for humour

when truth takes scissors

to the false preening of vacuity

and draws together scraps

of the fabric

that makes me whole

.. to take a leap of faith

Boys at play

 

beyond

imagine it. just beyond

the fledgling on a ledge

deep space beyond and more

that miasma of fear which constricts

every tissue and fibre and

unknowable thing

from taking a leap of faith

 

brother, sister, mother, father, friend

watch over me for I am one

who knows how it feels to stall mid-flight

at that precipice

and court the most unholy thoughts

to allow any manner of darkness in

but in my heart and in my soul

I know I am here because

the ones before me took that leap

they loved me

and I will honour them

Derision

Derision. pic

‘it’s beautiful’,  he said

from the bottom of the wishing well

his eyes, intent, squirming

to find light and  traces of form

for a way out, a clue. A shape revealed.

A helix. An escape. An easy win

like the numbers on a lottery ticket

yet always they seem so distant

so not palpable. Fathoms below and miles above

 they are treasures of the rainbow. Ephemera.

 

And so he went on saying things

clutching at all forms of optimism

knowing that in truth he was going blind

as the bets were lost

All belief, beggared and lost in shallows

the words just backward utterances. Infarcts.

The light going skinny, malnourished to a fade

so grey and white that winter would muscle in

even into this empty spring

from which, when he looked up

he saw death with petals in his eyes

and the earth, a crust at their rims

So many scattered things

recurrence

Recurrence. pic for poem.

 

what price all this useless beauty

when dreams recall

the drowning man

in folded blankets

and how the dark recoils

in strangled places

exposing flaws

on naked skin

and whispers shout

with mocking sounds

behind closed doors

in deep, deep wells

so only now

one might feel

euphoria

closing in

Destroyevski

Destroyevski. pic

 

It is all as it ever was

despite the incremental improvements

the sense of loss persists as though now

has been appropriated

and I sit in the circle of loss

whatever that is

and fret at the perimeter of sense

though really all meaning has been dis-emvowelled

leaving me with the parched bones

inexpertly sifting for meaning

and trying to divine a process

in this continuum of doubt

that the believer in me might adopt

in favour of the heretic who dances on the fringes

alluring in weak moments

Is this conscience?

Or fear that I may drown in self pity

at the lock-gates of my heart

turning the waters into a whine.

Expectant

Expectant. pic

I want more

That is my condition. My dread

I am the eager hunger

a lust of want on margins

imagined, never seen

Of echoes, shreds of neverbeens

dying coals and finite seams

that refuse to manifest.

Perhaps it is all pornography

it’s crooked lines on pure white paper

and stains on beauty where promises

were never kept.

What is left is a crust

of tears, wind-dried

a legacy that anthropologists will find

and with it kindly trace a history

from something

I never knew