Friday, December 29, 2017

For Alfie and Louie, both

I know I have to lose you
for you to become what you will be
but just for this moment
stop by the wayside and look, while
we still have looking in us, together
at this instant, despite its being
manufactured by me for my needs
and spare me this, for perhaps it is
a miracle anyway, just this stopping
and looking, at what it is
this tiny thing, which possibly
neither of us would otherwise have
noticed, and which is now
almost the apocalypse. let's
just look and hold hands
in the last moments of you still being
my little boy, our last breath
of love like this, looking together

at something inexpressible, falling
apart as we do it. Can we ever capture this
while the sun breaks our entire world?


Saturday, December 23, 2017

religion becoming culturally relativistic

so this donkey with a really short face walks into a bar and the barman says hey why the long...

your next word is really really fucking important, says the donkey


Thursday, December 21, 2017

US war movie

when the fish
in the barrel win the day
US war movie


what you believe

just remember
you didn't have Snopes
all of your life


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Duodeniad

La Rage—sing, goddess, of the RAGE of Achilles

the Pope now has an HIV-infected Gay lover
—this has led to a considerable softening of his position
regarding the use of condoms

words that won't wash out: tubetrain/rucsack/Krak des Chevaliers

the Chinese eat cats like crackers
but that's nothing to the French
who drown young beaked boys in Armagnac
bury them in woodland in Spring let it all mulch down to thick soup
they swear by the fortifying properties

his vegetal body his machine massif
his midriff his central nervous plexus a clock
a barometer to be tapped and adjusted
it tracks responsively the snaking isobars set it in train
like a Victorian clockwork golem
trained to follow a bannister commit strangulation upon
a sleeper on the highest floor he intends instead
the meridians of psychic commerce every time that she
walks in the room
 rage sing of rage golem sing of
Aung San Suu Kyi at one end of a telescope
a little uniformed general with his mouth grinding the other
like a cat with nothing else

rage sing of rage he says all silly with a new bike and hat

North Utsire/South Utsire: a sea giant moderate to good
occasionally poor at first

who could love your face so full of interior disfigurement?
the Vatican explains that on a case by casis it has never opposed
the use of condoms if you have been kidnapped by Islamist baboons
force you to commit acts of disgusting coitus on a monkey
but regret that you will still attend the 7th Hell on the grounds
that to be able to commit said act at all you must have had something
going on

we took me and some friends took control of the world sometime yesterday
in ways too subtle yet to be understood

I have decided not to give up wanking
there is a pleasant place just outside Hell where you wait
until the Pope catches up
it's all just a formality now
papers and ID please how often did you do it
were you married no well in here please
try to cool it in the waiting room there will be opportunity later

the Vatican explains that it has never been opposed to the use of
trained monkeys for sex

The Papa has issued clarification-condoms

Hunkpapa winewall at the margo
in eery breathbasks

Saturday, December 09, 2017

'The Nearest of the Faraway Places'

I interviewed artist/sculptor Duncan Moon a while back for The Triggerfish Critical Review. He has since finished the work around which much of the interview focused, so here is a link to an article about it with some pictures, and the interview is available through the links on the righthand side of this page:


Monday, December 04, 2017

a retired sign language interpreter

who could say in the dust and ash and poverty
of the million tiny moments and decisions which

cumulatively brought him to this wet and solitary
place in a cul de sac somewhere in north Leeds

whether it was the breaking of a relationship he
had so tried to break without breaking or the death

and deaths of brothers or the constant repetition
of hand movements and the assumption of

a persona so unlike that he espouses outside
of such contexts but the real life one perhaps

imagines there in the lush grass exchanged
for this barren garret this gibbet this social

housing with broken things in what passes
for 'garden' in this new world already old before

he arrives. it has a small balcony from which
one may observe other, similar buildings

wherein similar breakings continue quietly,
generally, with little exterior fanfare beyond

an occasional smashing or roaring which soon
dies down or is sucked inside to invisibility

or perhaps transmuted into posture, gait,
the distortion of musculature, character

armouring, pathology, the inevitability
of ill health and depression. the balcony

it must be noted, an invitation to a rainy
pendulum into a dramatic public cessation


Magical Elements in Wuthering Heights.

There are three potentially magical or supernatural episodes in 'Wuthering Heights,' in which mirrors or windows – possibly even eyes – act as some sort of lenses, and perhaps portals, through which time seems to slip. The first is when Mr Lockwood breaks the window in Catherine's old bed-chamber and encounters her ghost wailing to get back in, telling him that "it's been twenty years" (which is accurate, but which Lockwood can't yet have known). Entering the room, Heathcliff quickly reads the situation, and, banishing Lockwood, attempts to call Catherine back through the window — to no avail at this point, though it may be through a window that she later comes to join him.
The second event seems to mirror this scene, as though the two are connected across time; it occurs just before Catherine dies at Thrushcross Grange, tended by Nelly Dean. She looks into a mirror and sees a greatly aged Nelly, but sees also her old room at the Heights, with a "black press" to confirm the location. There is no black press in her room at the Grange, but there IS such a black clothes press in Cathy's old bedroom at the Heights (a 'press' or 'clothes press' is an old-fashioned clothes cupboard).
“The black press,” says Nelly, “where is that?” “It's against the wall, as it always is,” says Cathy. But she also sees another face there, which she does not recognise: “Don't you see that face? […] Oh! Nelly, the room is haunted!”
Could this be Lockwood's face, twenty years in the future, peering out from Cathy's old room? If not then whose face? It has no coherent function in the narrative otherwise. Is this the moment when Lockwood and Cathy see each other through the window of Cathy's old bedroom? Just prior to this episode we are signalled that we have entered some magical space and time when Catherine says that her bed is at this moment the "fairy cave beneath Penistone Crag" – presumably a place with preternatural possibilities.
The third magical event comes when Heathcliff dies: Nelly notices his bedroom window is wide open, with the rain blowing in, and then finds him dead in bed, smiling, with his eyes also wide open, as if to echo these open glassy channels across death and time. What else could have enabled Heathcliff to die smiling like that, unless Catherine has somehow bridged an impossible divide and they have been reunited? Of course Emily Brontë leaves us with the suggestion that their ghosts are indeed now united, and have even been seen walking together, but has this been accomplished by this through-lined literary device of the windows and the mirror, and even the eyes?
Emily clearly devises and constructs these episodes to suggest that the supernatural elements might possibly be real rather than imaginary – for how else would Lockwood know of the twenty years gulf; why would Heathcliff be smiling, even in death; and why would his window (recalling the previous windows and the mirror) be open to the rain?
And – if we are not supposed to consider these supernatural intrusions as real – why would the sheep at the end of the book refuse to walk past "t' nab" after the shepherd boy has sighted the two ghosts there? The boy's weeping and fear might be explicable by superstition and ghostly gossip, but how is one to explain the behaviour of those sheep? Yes, sheep could be influenced by the behaviour and responses of the human shepherding them, but that really is not what Emily meant. She wanted us at least to consider the possibility that Cathy and Heathcliff had genuinely made it, and were together again at last.