Tuesday, 7 October 2008


The general morbid state occurring in inhabitants of marshy districts.
(OED, 1881)

all or nothing at all is
everything you are
(ask me how I knew
all I’ve grown accustomed to
as Gyro Gearlooose
loses the plot
(what’s good for the goose
is not to forget) the where-
withal of knowledge
stands on its head
in the bathroom mirror
marking time with what it can
to sunlight and
distant radios

encroaching shade
or pink light
up against the trellis
a fortune lost weekly
astumble between chimneys
it takes a season to angle
eaten or half-eaten
a wardrobe away
we make our shifts
as best, as worst,
as worsted, what’s left
guttering in the bowl
as morning puts the stars
wound up for today

‘idiot light’ and now
hiss of water
as the room leans
to infinity, a brow
(or prow) over the street
named what? marshes
low and distant
a catalogue of beasts
line up to be milked
and all the air quiet
as gradients fall away
the Swale invades
sensibility, a sky
at best marginal

a black painting
passages in dark red
reflect a room back
at its beholder
somewhere a zither
a movie, substance
the sky, the sea, inert
a gas, behind all this
tangle of apostrophes
outlaws appropriate
imagery, a quiz show
for those in the know
who harvest before it ends
traces of the bends

go book, be
a blight in
what’s around
entombed in air
your staircase stretches
towards the stars
as hope is kindling
aspiring to nought
a pitch, a kind of sale
as markets crash
a bubble, perfect
of its kind
rests in a space
above the heart

two thousand year old
tree in Eastling
a road to nowhere
falls off the back
of the Downs, a tunnel
once been through
takes its shape then
collapses. you do not read
these letters at peril
taking sights on flowers
that light up finally
turning mulch, a bead
on what’s ahead,
a head, a light

enough covenants
save these cushions
it’s all enacted here
in this room the
dull curtains frame
take from books
what we can, isolate
instances, white walls
thick with ideograms
only the sound booms
across streets
where poetry and the risible
coexist, a sparkleof departing tides

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