Wednesday, May 04, 2011

unexploded shells

Liverpool 1968 full of holes and the ectoplasm
leaks through the holes gluing us all down the entries
and alleyways why are these years now full of sunlight

full of wartime gasmasks that smell of old breath
and rubber left out in the sun two boys in the bricks
beneath which still tissue and bones from the bombings
they tie a firework to my bare leg they run off laughing

I come home burnt crying in the rain in need of Hovis
and fly pie one day I smear myself all over with
sunflower oil I think it facilitates tanning I sit out
on the step near-naked I feel grown up and excessively hot

my Grandfather works on the bins he finds all sorts
a rucsac one day he brings me with broken toys
to put in it I lie at the door shooting neighbours
with a broken gun until my missiles are confiscated

green knitwear on the first day gooseflesh and songs
tears but not from me so happy my chinaman father
late at night radio from the sea-measles a gate
through which lower breck we learnt to smoke
betrayal by cousins a naked man by the army shop
downtown deco Mr Bell Bluecoat in the communal
workshops of 1969 a high bed full of some latest

semi-guru always full of women and his pneumatics
harder than iron on the later chippings knappings
this is how this how this

fluxial fluxgate independent of magnetism as almost
the double tap of gyro indents halfway the acquisition
devices that imprint the locale the dialectic shriek
down the sunny street where a footballer lived
beyond his ways six a chips only two minutes
later to affirm locality that cctv of handholding
leading out of a precinct to a railwaycanal sink

for a long time no one had anything
after that everyone had already moved away
the river had browned over
yellow amphibians grow there now

ten quid for half an hour on the water
the naked man still drunk on the leaden prow
waves up the river his anxiety everywhere
on the wind my Grandfather angry and wanting

to get home and drink one looks in and one looks out
in the new settlements south of the river
the apartments had portholes in honour
of the naked man waving

it was as if they had found a way to bottle it
light it up throw it in a ditch
tell everyone to jump in

no one knows much about rivers

the river wasn't yet born
that would grow up to be a god

under the brown flow the wrecks
body parts now bones
1967 I am down there in the wreck
of the Sally Fiola in the ballast bricks
two boys tie fireworks they laugh
I come home in need of drinking Hovis
from the sea naked Alaska
slow-torpedoed in my language
not yet knowing
everyone in the future
was already gone
had left
moved out to the towns with portholes
from which there was no coming back
to the sunny entries and the smell of rubber

river daffodils shine up each Spring

sit there at midnight watch them rise like candles

the river momentarily alight

and the naked man waves wild and drunk

sligo ashcroft over bommie schoolbells smokes
dead Mersey mud


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