There is a cat lying in the dirt,
Curled against dawn’s spreading thighs—
His neck, a futile crowbar between
Gravel scratch pad and placid chine.
Feet advancing, stepping down the curb
Through steel dogs towards those hated
Moments, mind behind overlying
Humus throne aside tar-striped
Day’s king. I covet this peaceful rule
Amidst stone and weeds, prostrate
Heritor of fallatial dotage,
Stiff sceptre in hand of late-
Coming virgin turned whore.
I am a blind fool crippled with stage fright before an empty theatre.
That drops, falling and gath’ring, shud find it not
But nature to enjoin, while man, tho’ he ought
Follow suit, certainly falls in every way
Known– joining indeed! Though enjoining? ‘Tis nay.
Take, for a show, that act call’d matrimony,
A catcher of dreams from the West, made holy
By men in crown. More holey I daresay
Than the whole of their subjects pockets fray’d!
Or words of puppets made sweet to gain a vote,
With the bitter tail of poor poetry rote.
Once wrote, is not the hand quick to set aside
The quill, no more a part than a butcher’s blade?
Truly, the sin of man is not found in fall,
Yet in falling apart, as Autumn’s wind all
The leaves does separate, we gather not
enjoin’d, in parts succumb’d to drops–we rot.
Dusk, expansive as your eyes, blinks.
A door opens wider letting in rapidly vanishing stars,
And you, at my side, lay in repose.
A chalice drawn behind a veil
Bodes a tearful night.
The shouts of neighbourhood dipsomaniacs
Cut dumb by silent echoes,
Are matched by the beat of a sick dog’s tail.
The air, laden with compunction
Threatens to collapse.
Then – a gasp! A bloodied sky lulls me to your side,
As you arise.
I found you once in adultery, next in shame.
A flame has no place in this cold.
A row of gentlemen lining up
Under the cover of night beside death
Closer coming they to the breath that burns
Than I, naked in this northern wind.
All these people, roaming from home to home
Waxed and weaning,
Into a life of candle passing candle passing…
As only amphibians know.
Skin peels back to bleeding thistles,
Cracked as ice in sadness,
Joints swollen to the size of a poet’s head
Which snow burns dark.
It is not the flame, the fire
But the burn that reminds me
Of insufferable you and how much
I need you to live.
I am jealous of the brave ones
who know well how she smells
the lady of the night,
and can distinguish the subtleties
of anguish, of despair.
While pusillanimous I here
can’t stand to be alone,
unable to discern
a friendship from an implement,
resignation from wait.
When they do it, everyone turns
to marvel at their guile;
they make me want to spit,
what with all of their confidence
such beautiful sculpture.
Outside, a mint plant that won’t thrive,
envious of fast-growing
clover, expanding, choking,
veils its few tender leaves, slowly
withering in the shade.
Once, I tore at the attacker-
a true mint-Messiah-
only to discover
would-be disciples are best kept,
at least some what, in the dark.
A circle of deflated quwi surround this extended rat-faced snake, yet not a single one pierced—poisoned, yes, bitten, no.
And now comes the farmer, machete wielding, farm communityjustice wielding, standing swinging over glutted serpent which
raises an wishedfor hand, sly smiling – my teeth are clean –
Quwi in hand, no marks no teeth, I should say but