Lost their organist to (brand Ⓡedacted) exposure. His body’s toxic mezzanine without access. These things cannot be discussed without recourse to battle. Round tower – 12th Century, Sheela Na Gig; standpipe and bucket for visitors to cemetery; fresh flowers; old flowers. Sweet Babylon borders pride of the county. The risk of falling – agreed: all housing designed by concrete wordsmiths: flight of bungalows set swarming to the very edge. Words risk the same plummet – come true. Bright grass.
Pathos, bathos, daylight, sea-breeze, time, plurality, architecture (period and modern), tradition, religion (Christianity, arrogated paganism), demographic (implied), civic planning (ambitious), horticulture, illness (Life and Death stuff), product (banned), Health & Safety (gone Lear), language, imagery, ellipsis…voice, linguistic devices, history, war, music, tourism (passive), community, resolution (lack of), affective states (expectation of), philosophy (suggestion of), misinterpretation (possibility of), creativity (questionable) formal innovation (hmmm), whimsicality (may contain), things (undeniable) etc., poem, list of ingredients.
I decide to paint the walls of the bedroom with a fresh coat of the cornflower blue, using a shaggy roller and a slant fitch (look it up) for cutting-in along the skirting, architraves and windowsill, only realising after I’ve finished that what I’ve actually done is paint a representation of a cornflower blue wall, astonishing in its verisimilitude. I try the same trick with the bannister, white gloss over white gloss, just to freshen things up a little, but this time my self-consciousness gets in the way and leads to an inferior version. I find myself thinking of Borges’s ‘Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,’ and the difference that can lie at the heart of sameness. In illustration of this idea I write a poem about painting the bedroom walls with a fresh coat of cornflower blue, detailing how I use the shaggy roller, which I had fetched from the attic, along with a slant fitch (as an aside I suggest the reader should look it up if they didn’t know what a slant fitch is – basically, a paintbrush with an angled edge for detailed and hard-to-reach work) for cutting-in along the skirting, architraves, and windowsill. I describe how, after finishing the job, I realise that what I’ve actually performed is not straightforward re-decoration, but a perfect representation of a room painted in cornflower blue. The poem goes on to recount how, despite using the same approach in rebooting the bannisters, painting white gloss over white gloss, the end result proves lacklustre, leaving me wondering to what degree my over-thinking might have got in the way. Here (without going into too much explanatory detail and perhaps misunderstanding his rationale) the poem pauses to refer to Borges’s short story, ‘Pierre Menard, Author of theQuixote’, which relates the line-by-line recreation of Cervantes’s Don Quixotein its original 17th Century Spanish, thereby questioning the nature of translation, originality, and authorship. The poem concludes with a spot of fudging, rough-handling the phenomenon of the referred-to first ‘painting’ to speculate on questions of mimesis that seem to constantly fall in and out of favour. In the end I decide the poem is not up to the task and needs a radical overhaul. I remove all reference to painting the bannisters and the directive regarding the ‘slant fitch’. I also drop all mention of Borges’s Don Quixote. In their place I add a series of ruminations on various properties ascribed to the colour blue. I toy with the idea of keeping the original title, Quixotics, but…
Relationships conducted in logo-centric areas of commerce, for instance coffee shops, pseudo public zones of purchase agreement that define our negotiation of space and time and each other, are equally valid, but do not give up on the dream of love in its wingéd sense. We must be circumspect, express our coming together in the simplest of terms. For example, Oh. If we hurt each other, let it be in error, not out of spite. Things forced apart contain the tension of their true arrangement. The perfect placement is one in the arms of another.
inférieur clapotis quelconque comme pour disperser l’acte vide
The eyes are coins that take their custom elsewhere. Daisy chain of fingers
in a darkened room somewhere dials direct the cheesy dead. Young Poe lounges
in the shade of downed claret. Or that’s how I read it, lying in bed, blanket
gathered to my chin, witchetty pallor of ball-eyed death face struck dumb.
This Articulation Inside
Wary of such inwardness, I cringe whenever I think of them –
the unadorned bones lodged inside. Flesh I can deal with, eyes,
hair, nails, teeth, but not that cave-blind armature.
When I was a bean, gilled and see-through, they faded in
as if from nowhere. They match my every move
with freakish mimicry. I walk, and they walk the wet space
within; I tire, and they take on the shape of the chair
in which I sit. They’ll choose the time and place to shrug me off,
and then lie back, smirking at their sleight of inner hand
that feeds the meat of me into the Pokémon's wormy maw.
Spooning the Pooch
Cracked to the core dry leaf boy you need to bed down and never say never
say grrr…ear to the ground the creak of stone the slip and slide of magma
Already fallen behind in your learning by the time the lead was stripped,
so, who’s to tell. An off-cut left behind thick as your wrist, your palms,
grey-shining trail an ashen line. And it moves like this – look up
from what you’re doing and back again to find it changed.
This builds in memory – joists and beams are
Roof shine wet or frosted plum,
a deeper weight, sunk
beneath the staining light,
assembled echo, life-denying eulogy.
Less soft to hands than tough.
Press, ceruse, flung shot –
Ghost rays interrogate
Dull neon shines
against brightest dark,
the inner noir of you revealed,
a not so grand-guignol
that treads the light once all
is said and done.
The curled edges of the drawing are held down
by four palm-sized leather beam bags filled
with lead shot. The conservator chores over
a spot of foxing, applying dabs of hydrogen
peroxide in the hope of turning rust to air
Domestic Indications – In Ordered Happening
I heard your soft engine
idling through the small hours.
Bedsheets, carved by restless night, are true-to-life.
The mail arrives with a slow clap.
Steamy window in need of finger.
Call any time between 6 and 8. V
Sink, toilet bowl, coffee cup –
the froth stares back through spider eyes,
each bubble glinting with the image of its maker.
One by one they pop, their looking
turned to the great elsewhere.
Poached egg and avocado,
making out on a slice of toast.
So right for each other.
With knife and fork hand down
The cat re-births through the cat flap,
breaks into a slinky circuit of the kitchen.
She stops by her empty bowl and makes
a short-haired vase of herself,
looks up at me through three long blinks.
I reach down and click my fingers.
She turns her attention
to licking her fist.
Men with Pains
The high-street bodies carry their faces, pockets eat such bodies’ hands.
I trail behind my father’s limp, chase the slope of his decline
into the turdy park where he stops to prod the stagnant brook,
working with a stick the ooze beneath the matted leaves.
We watch the waters cloud. He pokes and stirs and says,
for the stream’s ears more than mine, This pain, sweet
and granular, has followed me a lifetime.
I ask him what it is, this pain of his, this wound
he constantly harangues. He throws his stick aside
and straightens up, his gaze fixed on the greying water.
It starts behind the eyes and travels the length of you,
and here, now – pressing his hand to his knee –
it presently resides. Clearly a sensitive man.
I offer a frayed cuticle for his inspection.
Telepathic Drawings – timed sessions 18/01/2020 19.00 –19.23
Patrick Brandon Brendan Lancaster
A Letter, Mr Jones!
Is it really thirty years? The tulip bloom of cupped light around
a cigarette. Your voice shaken out to join the dark and no others
left to blame and all ideas fresh and alive with a new-found
All the here and there afters. Were they really angels? We were
a little high, a little foresaken – and grew the twistiest horns,
textured as olive bark but made of naught but air.
Shh! (taps nose) Recorded Devilry.
Not a word.
All I can say is that, yes, I am of a certain age and shape and
brand, with strategic tufts, and that after all the brutal stuff
a significant amount of each day is given over to dying.
But, know this – the space and time you make is not my place
or time to take. That guitar won’t tune itself (I recall quite
distinctly how you held its shape – just like a pieta).
I’ll leave you to it.