Friday, October 16, 2009

tea coal (self mortrait at dawn after delayed flight)

I sat up all night smoking looking
into some distance as though awful faces
there in the night looked back I wonder
sometimes if I will smoke until
it dries me up like an old timber stood
derelict above the tideline desolate
until I am well enough of myself
desiccated in my own salt and voice
just a thing that looks out
from a pile of frass
feeling for myself in stutters of radio
—it is at these times

that I am at my most inhuman as though
I might rush out and engage
in some act
motivated entirely by silence
by something there in the mist
which I do not even feel
sometimes this is an elevating thing
that makes me climb rooftops in darkness
an animal wired to the night

in that arching pilot rictus
it is in pain that I appear most real
watch the needle
I look to find myself there
in the scattered leaves of late October
look here it is already in the coming repetition
of late hunt it down
for this is an interactive animal
barely brushed by late winds
folded in like a baby that sucks
its own shadow
knowing no other mother to clutch

the sensation is that of a cold moss that seeps
behind the face somewhere
in the olfactory wall the haunted cavities
of pre-language it runs down
through the thoracic circle the abdomen
with its distant cries and heave
it eddies and corrupts in the genitals
settles finally as a dying reptile
in the ossified knee joints

stifled and unspeaking
its tiny mouth stuffed with mothers
stretched in death's happy alarm
over and forgotten

but feel free to add
your little fucking soft
afterdark breath in your ear
handsliding alerts

& be aware that you dance with the dead people
you are in the presence
of the dead
the sexy dead people

for one night only O
the blinding lights are blowing below



Amanda said...

Goodness me, that's bleak.


Anonymous said...

This is not the place to offer a full critique, so I will offer you this ----

this beautiful piece made me cry.

Love and admiration for it.


Steve said...

It's only a poem, not a suicide note... I'm quite a cheery chap really!

Thanks both.