Knees & Fists & Teeth


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we lay horizon-angle along aisles of the city,
its veneers bore the clouds as they idle awhile
in copper-bordered cobweb bundles

and rain is language, language is rain, 
loosened from the tips of wine-stain tongues,
knuckle being blown or kissed by lip
lines; we trip over them all the time
or shoe-laces of feillemort-freckled boys,
never an umbrella, washed-out old news.

listen to the not-words we aren't speaking in a 
shake of salt, a game of conkers, or get out of the city
and to the woodlands where, in a haze of petrichor, 
you'll hear it all around on bark and leaf and then
the tinnitus of every caravan or shed.
A tin home with an iron lid to live in,
corrugated skin,

city life is wilderness but I know there is more
and wilder such, but I only half-dream of trees 
carrying curses, stolen idols or heirlooms arising in 
the anatomy of snakes wearing war-hoods
purely for the purpose of poetry/.

the storms that come can rattle the trees
round the courtyard into an epilepsy unflagging
and then sometimes

in my mind, flowers spit out embers petal-tooth 
and lava spills onto tarmac streets. 
the night knocks on the closely matched
blocks of paving stones. fireflies are out
but it looks like they'll die, their translucent wings
bring to mind an undressed volcano. 

the cathartic outbreak of spiders that 
that spread into a multiplication of landmines.

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antidote to sleeps

inside, the cold thing chewing on my brain 
projects a halo of light around everything.
I ask him why he turns from Jesus to a fox-faced shadowy sea.
He tells me it's the lights, when we switched the off
and I read his many faces to see it yawn into its 
expression of, "Obviously." His eyes are rolling.

The building at night is full of moaning voices
and sometimes I can't tell what's concrete and what's 
floating around the room and across my visual cortex.
Perhaps my body wants to warn me for when I look carefully
with eyes halfway-closed all around me
the furniture livens up to livid angry 

when a night has arrived without my discombobulated
interpreters who come mostly to make the fall
of darkness so much more confusing than I supposed 
anything could be, or to leave cracks in the corners
of ceilings, or invite everything to put on its
most menacing face.
Sleep is erratic, and my lungs are dust bowls 

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Outside, golden hands make the light change colours.
Hypnos tells me it’s okay; I tell him I’m fightless.
Cold daylight chews me into nighttime pieces
 and perhaps if I tell the sun what I’m reading it will stay a little longer.

Everything past the window is uneven and loud like the ocean,
melancholy and pointed like knees and fists and teeth.
September falls into October and paper stays paper,
though it used to be trees somewhere in the sun,
The truth is that there is emptiness in a lot besides beds.

October is coming in like a train whose whistle echoes for days,
An old steam engine with one hundred thousand windows,
whole rooms for watching time but no space for little tides, big blinks,
or eating up a list of books I must read before I turn twenty-five.

Light retires with a soporific goodnight and all that is left
is a dearth of sleep, imaginary owls and other big-eyed birds contemplating stars, Morning will sound like breathless trees
stretching new leaves, clouds whirling, tiny winds
darting through my sheets until I am grey again.
Sleep is just dust and I hate feeling filthy forgotten.

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translucence and vibrancy

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