To freeze a moment those bucolic views
— wrapped up in my anamnesis—
of field & farm in my hometown
& consider they’re nothing more than corrugated roofs |
lifeless green tarmac | obliged to house populations of insect & bird
who stabilize the rungs of life | on the mend
in-perpetuity— we’re all responsible for the silence.
The whole is less than the sum of its part
: mull over this…the land is ecosystem
if whole | one mass under whole |
buteach part is itself an ecosystem at different scales
: a palm full of soil has as many microbes as people
on Earth—something is lost in the reduction to whole.
i’m thinking poems with too much theme
around the waist & minus turn of phrase.
We toggle the horizon of scale effortlessly
with the precise drag of a cursor
from the infinitesimal to the macro-cosmic
—think Matryoska with eyes in the back of her heads.
We exist imminently between 2 scales.
The turn of early | holographic light | the land |
with the sound of its own voice
in its head | lends a hand to our line of vision
& tries to pull us past convenience.
Thel dams the tears with chewing gum
& as the whimpering subsides | jots
down a list of roborant plants & weeds | puts
a dating profile up on OK Cupid.
Long ago | she was the prodigal of innocence.
Soft spoken Pippa isn’t skipping | ankle in
a cast | a dislocated jaw | skew-whiff
when looked at second-hand in the mirror
—her eyes swollen from long bouts
of sob & dab— she misses childhood.
CFCs piggy back on motes of pollen
& cause their sinuses to bung
with dusty mucus | to bodge a thumb
up a nostril | itch the noxious |
& break down air’s obstructions.
Prolapsed vegetation & carcasses
return their packed energies & final shrieks
in the productive form of coal | oil & gas
—the dead tapped back to life
with a frack or pick. We bared our teeth
to Pan & he scarpered | no hoof prints |
nor lone jawline left in an apple |
his forest-critters in a panic
—why aren’t we meeting their anxieties?
Pan is a god to terrify & follow
: he has the talent to crush life into fuel.
Darkness where it stands | is so much darker
in the society of artificial light.
There is technique in superficial light
—only the natural forms in its absence.
The common man | his impaired hearing | corrected |
listens but | all the poets have gone deaf
: they jabbed their fingers too far down their “lug ‘ols”
& caused a tympanic membrane perforation.
The Man of Answers docks in a vessel of digital
envelopes | armed with his Book of Parodies | a
charitableaid to boost our insights into the daedal mechanics
& combustion of Contemporary verse gone awry.
Listen! “You can hear his cells dying.” The wind
has switched the direction of the chequered flag.
“We’re nostalgic | we want the myth of simpler times
to return— when all you had to keep you up at night
was the threat of fascist dictatorship & A-bombs
or whether to continue purchasing | the readymade
cake mixture cuzit’zcheatin’ if’n you ownly ‘av
to add 100ml of water i don’ feel like a real woman.”
—DIRECTION FOR USE: tip sachet into bowl | add
100 ml of milk or water & a large egg | whisk
the mixture until smooth then pourinto a grease proof
cake tin | bake for 20 mins at 200ºC | & [be]cool for 5 mins—
He spoke at length | dunking his fibrillose sentences
in phlegm | retting the syllables— “we. are. the. ap.er.ture. through. which.
the. cos.mos. test.i.fies. it.self.”—his overbite like the bonnet of a car
commanding him to conceal his intent as
subtly as acrostic poetry: “ev.er.y. scrap. of. da.ta. we. mine.
will. be. add.ed. to. our. en.gine. so’s. one. day.
there’ll. be. an.ac.tion.a.bly. per.fect. search.”
The audiences’ ear ‘ols turned to anuses & farted back
what their autonomous brains convert to 140 characters (gigabytes)
of ordure | & though | presentably one body | they struggled
to look each other square in the eye | so shared
among the audience were permanent marker pens |
& each drew emoji on their palms
to discuss at length with their own hands
what they inferred from the presentation | until
all in a muddle | as if misdiagnosed with an
ailment only other people | in magazines or on Opray Winfrey |
otherwise in foreign countries with capital cities they don’t know | get
— “you. can’t. spell. im.med.i.ate.ly with.out. med.i.a.”
Forgetting time | which took wing |
even with a horologist in the theatre |
no one turned their attention to the digital clock
above the door | nor noted how symbolic a horologist in their midst was.
Uneasily the inalienable zoetrope of collective decision making
crept in a factor— “you. know. the. sort. of. things.
: mi.nor. var.i.a.tions. mak.ing. way. for. the. E.leu.si.an.
mi.nor.i.ty. of. brain.i.acs. with. hoods. &. dong.les.”
Everyone still talking with their palms
& never landing on the thumb
that the speaker is one of them brainiacs
: a sheep in wolf’s clothing.
Tank tracks mark-out worry-lines in the wet mud |
the eons of rain striations in rock— tour buses | rental cars |
tanks | jeeps | one after the other | past following present
on its way to peek at the future | true realism
can only entertain itself ahead of time.
Sun light & explosions | the casserole of groups & organs | soldiers
pinned down | tourists flirt & stretch — babbling gunfire-tunes.
Selfies capture a back-dropped soldier in agony | face stretched like tree roots.
The land shares memories with the present.
Recovery fire from behind the coffee shop |
2 fingers of nausea bodged down their gullets hoicking up
their small ration of rice & ethanol tapped with mountain water.
NK soldiers on the bridge | a girl with an ice cream
—if you ask the Americans | they’ll give you chocolate & bubblegum
—they’re pouring out the monastery | shooting monks as they flee |
who drape over wall & stairs: convolvulus |
flesh like persimmon botched open by the finger nails of bayonets
— soldiers dry mouthed & stunned by the enemies brutality |
cutting monks’ throats from ear to ear: hiking routes highlighted in red felt
—— then tossing them into the stream laced with blood & dead leaves.
Tourists hem the mountain’s foot | a siege— SK troops
have no time to siege | low on ammo & food.
Selenian faces eclipsed by trampled balloons pop — gunfire
tck tck tck tck, fireworks. Dark circles | kohl | the lack of sleep: too much office time
—we’re here to let off steam & watch the leaves turn red
—autumn turns up early this far north
& all the while masters sip coffee or green tea in the shade of parasols
— a bullet lodged in a beer can | ring/pin snapped hiss
then tck tck tck tck | a tree takes hits |
sap mourns out & jetted beer fizz mixed with blood |
a ferrule barrel popping off M1 carbine rounds
pock mark the monastery & school | like thumb prints in bean paste |
blood painted window — the rictus scale of laughter from boozy tables
then a soldier riddled with bullets | blood dribbling | soy sauce down chins
a weak breath snagged on a twig | a paper fan resists the palialia
of groaning winds stretch marked out the north blowing litter
— we need to get up to Chong peak!
Troops scatter from tossed grenades | mud & stone
a soda fountain | parasols— the ruffle of boots above foxholes
— artillery hammering young men’s temples | they tick
— time to get moving | the façades of the mountain blown to bits |
a boy doing his best to whistle a tune with shells drooping out
the apex of their parabola — sisters down slides | waterfalls
& fists banging tables | a child’s rattle.
A synchronization of flushing toilets | waterfalls | streams | booze | colon | gut.
Pale anachronism | the ghost of an old man who died a boy.
Construction work rickshaw grates on metal piping | war noise
—the brutal disproportion | chunks of men atomized.
Malaysian girls running to buy tickets for the cable car
& Chinese men drinking energy punch | smoke while chewing gum
A sister raises her father’s umbrella to shoot her brother |
a teenager with a rifle falls to his knees with an umph.
Too drunk to walk to their motel | too drunk to make love.
Someone trips on a stone | a mine— a stew of limbs
& soil patters down on patio umbrellas pitched outside restaurants
where people’s patois fills the late air | eating bibimbap & haemuljeon
& washing it down with makgeolli— rain?
Young girls fondle petals in their soft hands eager
to pick & pin them on their lapels
: what the dead push up.