Saturday, 29 December 2012

Bus note 34

Remembered woman
two seats in front
reads her large pink Christ Triumphant book
        with thin nose set
        in powderwhite, describable face
        making for a near perfection.
        Across from her
        structure, her gleam,
Mother makes her boy's very dark hair unruly;
forget time and weather,
reasons and others, signals.
        They all leave the bus two stops
        before I do. Almost alone now.
Black hair. White face. Pink book.
My dry red hands.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

At the Theological College


A note on the mid week posts

In future, I'll be alternating the poetry with photographs on a Wednesday. This will allow me to give more time to the words as well as fulfill my remit as one who does things with pictures.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Bus note 33

Morning darkness.
        I'm making myself write this.
The bus at speed.
        Eczema lets me know I'm here.
Still the fuzz from sleeplessness won't stop.
        Sawn off evergreen branches
        brutish in less than half light.
This is the opening dry scene
before a day of rain,
        a day of labour (paid)
        doing the caring thing.
How does anyone work
the social miracle these days?

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

From New Street to Euston

       Grey surfaces take up a lot of here

          Each clean fuselage lifts up
      above dead Warks scenery

            Shimmer then, white aluminium shell

  cloud drapes folding in and out

               energy noises against grass wildness
                    high up lights dry against soft air

          A shiver       Illegible rabbit faces are
                   near then gone

   Newbuild hamlets are doing
      pastel dream Victorian
                     someway down

         Canley is next now almost becoming Coventry

    gold
    gold and pink stripes
    gold dying off

  I like my new red jumper's heat

           In the seat opposite
         girl unknots her hair
              her attention inattention
            She's not here

         black smoke above conifers holding
               tyre stacks working all about
             a pile of fire

        poplar trees in the raw, picture rhyming

                       flat nowhere as such
                   with scrub clusters showing up      just

        with the odd train smudge
        going out for miles
               

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Bus note 32

To myself out loud,
walking down the aisle:
"I am a ghost".
        The phrase repeated;
        compulsion.
        Tired in bad light.
There's torn newspaper everywhere.
        A young Staffy trembles
        beneath the fold-down seat
of a well dressed girl
with blue-black beret
above an emptied face.
        Some stupid conversation
        about free and fair trade
        carries from two seats behind.
Then two young girls come on
speaking a form of French. L'Afrique.
        A little tentative, taking seats
        a small way apart as they talk,
their faces become
those of friends slowly.
        Imagined: thin green ribbon
        cats-cradling them.
Make it hold for a long time.



     

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Bus notes in Oakland

Yesterday, Tom Clark posted another of the bus notes series on his blog. It is a burning centre of the poetical universe. Go and look.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Our Mansion

Falling to pieces house
sodden under here    sponge soft there
wormed through    beetles
are rooting about

cracked green leaf glass pane
dark lead edges
clear panes with thin thread broken corners

A soft arch with
the terracotta shifting

A picture slipping

Walls with dirty thumb prints
they're pictures too  
trace fields

Old French windows shadowed with
berberis breathing thorned
pressing on to near    inside like a person
wantoning wanting    to finger musty gathered
parings letter scraps    flaked befores

Not quite there though
dirty yellow flowered
ragged ag├ęd
thinned sap shrub
not a person yet

What is there there?

There's only our lacework (delicate
and ignorant) of unnecessary turns
to look
down on
for so long

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Bus note 31

        Shining Sun before heavy rain later.
A little boy points at dark holly
that scratches waiting air over
the perimeter walls of the tennis club.
        The high rises, the Cricket Towers,
        are freshly painted and almost charming
while over the leafless-tree-filled park
the Sun gets smudged.
        Put a thumb over faded light
        to finish it; be a giant now.
Today I could give up kindness
and smiling and settle down
into that one still crystal heart valve
and be sharp and hard if I wanted to.
        If I wanted to, I would.


Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Get Up

      want to be
            uncivilised

with dull sky Summer late morning
                crows at yellowgreen verges

   piss in a bottle
         then pour out
       at driving speed
                  human brine

Well, no-one there now
             at the levers.

               hangers-on people about
           from before stick people
       to pretend away

Is it a mistaken thing, this bad action
                                          lump of self?

               That what won't be shifted

   stickiness
   remindering
       
                hand-squeezed figurine

                uncleanness    

            a warm mist halo
                     all around

             species made up
   of small or insignificant hurts

           And yet here's a sparkling
      evental fadeout and gap with Sun in.

Still. And still, wetness
                    at that point;
    glistening overcoat.

        the victory cape I got given for
             wearing out

You write in condensation:
              we are
             almost scum
               today
            but not.


Saturday, 1 December 2012

Bus note 30

The girl at the stop said
you can take this one too.
        Bus filled with boys
        of Solihull School, blazered,
expletives (ours, our language) thrown out
with such class, tidied-up violence
staining seat fabric. Bad air pallor is here.
        They're doing their long divisions -
the part: delicate boy with guitar,
a whitened, unafraid and hurt face,
        from the whole: fuckload of well-heeled cattle
        everywhere loudly, the inheritors
        of more than enough and more.
Motto: Perseverantia.
They do go on and on.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Which side Are You On? [16.]

                  We will never be anybody’s
                only the pulse that heads
                                  to not yet is ours
                        since Dad gave us the Eschaton
                      told us to keep it safe and warm
                  a trembling animal
                                        beneath our coats

                       We’re so very small and tired
                                     just holding hands

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Bus note 29

The roof of the Vihara off Osler Street;
muted gold seen through thin rainfall
looking over some little houses. Ladywood.
        On we go, an array of more
        or less disappointed persons.
Is this a school for virtue or just
a full bus heading toward Five Ways?
        Morning, and not even half awake,
        so let slow thick lids
        close and wait on
        some nothing
        for now.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Which Side Are You On? [15.]

not just
the words
we're all in
a mess over
(or even)
say we are
temporary
moth dust
thin or as thin
as a shadow is
almost
see through
but not enough
and always about
to leave
the room as
a situation
still but still
lingering here
pinching
(all nerves)
the stem
of a glass
we can't afford
to say
anything
out of
our turn

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Bus note 28

First philosophy:
trying to consider the difference between
the right and the useful
        after mopping up large pools of piss
        with blue old-corporation paper towels.
We pass the Rainbow Casino.
Imagine velveteen inside with yellowing leaf hands
shaking on green baize and outside painted lifeless white.
        Nothing more shows up till after my stop.
A little later, the door will close on unhinging evening rain
and I'll be properly done in.
        No serious kind of Cartesian, me;
        blurred person on blue sofa in this room.



     

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Which Side Are You On? [14.]

        some thinking was tender

        then the colouring in

        took a vulgar turn


        as you were

        speechless yet again

        at the branch meeting


        all of us in the shit


        but one on top of the other

        your washed still hands blown dry


     


Saturday, 10 November 2012

Bus note 27

        Look through the windows, fogged up
        - with the breathing? - and smeared,
to a letterbox in clouds with sunbeams
sickly eking through a non-blessing.
        Next to me the man with headphones, comical-sized.
        What seeps sounds for a moment like Archie Shepp
but soon gives way to the ordinary and official.
        An extra yearning to taste snowflakes of grace
        is chasing all good gifts out of the moving box.
In the head: A says, I've lost the Sp'rit of Truth,
and B says, Where did you last have it?
        The sequence is usual today
and you can count this time's robotic pulse very easily.
        Something would have the measure of me, I'm afraid.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Which Side Are You On? [13.]

       The gravediggers are at it
                till Love is history.

      The dream ached
            for fresher air but
                    it just doesn't happen.


Cold fingers,

ferreting about.

Some are pointing

way past the tidy trees.

       Everyone will be

            all warm under the soil  
                   when the due date comes.

      And the pages float from the hands:
        ash paper, ash.

                 She asks,
             Was reason ever in revolt?

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Bus note 26

I'm sitting alone on the bus at the stop while
the driver sucks on a ciggie beneath the shelter.
        Outside: a cold that leaves
        the fingers and the face aching.
Stuck in quietness: magical stasis. Wait.
        And then, as the passengers
        step up and on one by one
a writing hand is disenchanted.
Words are placed in lines.
        This is now and we all know
        where we're going to but
don't want to talk about it thank you very much.



     

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Which Side Are You On? [12.]

Talk of autonomy
won't work here.

There's just
this kid fidgeting
in the cheaper seats

with the lights going down
all over.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Bus note 25

Adrenalin, poison, soaks the hollow muscle.
        The yellow and the orange
        and the brown leaves are sodden too
        (all that falls from the sycamore tree)
        and trodden down flat on the pavement.
I can say this without hesitation:
the private hospital does not exist.
        I'm not sure
        that I'm here myself in any way this moment.
Work is where I'm going to be
between signing in and out.
        None of us will be done with the fog
        until the fog is done.
Old ladies with red lipstick gash mouths
are waiting at the stop.
        Step down into the grey.
Ah, anxiety: this is my coming Winter soup
for every other day.


Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Which Side Are You On? [11.]

seriousness, mostly
            then set humour times

       Some small boy looking earnest
                        holding mum's placard

             It's very hard for me to say:
             a. We're all in agreement here.
             b. We had such a laugh last night.

                           an icky knot
                     never wholly gone
                           in grandest swim
                     of everyone
                               
               Somewhere else
                  the making of a ladder
                       from the body
              that goes up with
                          rough guts stirring 
                  to stars: originary farts
                 punched eyes

        those rumours that won't be gone

     Back home we keep the red flag where everyone
     that needs to can see it
               (a little soiled, it must be said).

  and yet, it seems the question's begged,
                Whatever have we to look forward to?

            Old boring songs sung unashamedly.

           remember to pine for oldfashioned industrial
                   structuring and worked flesh            
         
              To looking forward, question mark.

                Gather and disperse.
                                                     
             [closing sentences will refer to image
                          in black and white - maybe winding gear
          with majestic clouds of due rain/ smoke going
                   up and out from chimney
                                         in misted over near distance]







Saturday, 20 October 2012

Bus note 24

        The boy's blazer's spittle streaked
        and his specs a touch too grown up.
Down from the college
the older brother comes,
        learning to like his not belonging yet
        some of the way in now. He stops
and says in scratched acidic voice, Again!
        Our kid nods, a look made stupid
        with everyday harrying, hurts
        learnt as basic rule.
When the bus comes, the blazer
steps up slow/steady to the top deck.
        It's three stops on
        till the collegian goes up too.
The thing is, you get blisters watching
the same ground tread.
        Repetition.
        A piece of living gets its staying shape.

Friday, 19 October 2012

dry is dusk as

                  littler than you are
         (or will ever be
                          or were)
      small so
    thin and there
                                shinyblack and hid beneath
             (pinching skin of space/
                                 tiny baby pincers)
                     the dirty leaf

               trod mud is showing
                                     also rustred flecks
          and fungal thumbprints too


                                  with a smoke stink all about and
          great pink comic smear
                                         on ageing dayold sky


an almost 
arse-end-of-the-city place
near half a river's course

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Which Side Are You On? [10.]

The Camera

       When it came to the die-in
       I could only watch
       this finger press down
       and feel the shutter
       catch the free light
       as the blood beat
       chemical time;
       to run away with itself
       and try and turn red.

       That light could have been staged.
       It gave everyone a place.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Bus note 23

I'm alone on the lower deck
of the number one, a bunch
of orange chrysanthemums
with lime green eyes on my lap.
        The flowers shout out; perverted daisies
        (in Old English, it's daes eage).     
We pass what was the deaf-blind school,
all boarded up now with the stucco stained.
       There are no more lessons happening
        any more, only years and years
of small animals leaving musk traces
in emptied rooms, filling them again with breath.
        The stench must say home to where
        it can't be anything but heard.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Which Side Are You On? [9.]

the waste is an eyeful

in the blast’s wake

blown back to

over here and then


here we go


[exit the spectre]


no don’t pray for us

just try hard

to keep mum



just 

don’t

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Bus note 22

Look out of the window.
        The roofs of the cars
        gleam with tedious malice.
        Each one is the same, contained.
These days I go too many times past
the entrance to Cannon Hill Park
        from where I ran, a thin kid,
        out from Singing into the downstream road
        to be hit and thrown up a good few feet
with a picture playing out
of a vase of orange roses
smashed and the whole of everything
getting slower and slower
       till I woke up to an angry driver
       and a halfarsed Sun.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Which Side Are You On? [8]

     never let on
           that you near believe
    as they would have you do

they do

(o the verbal mercury drop)

      or they'll catch hold of
           your delicate frame
                         clinging all eager
 till you’re cast out (the too unshipshape
                  too sweatsharp or the sweetness

on the turn)
              for show then 

for wholly gone

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Seascape on Tom Clark's Blog

Tom Clark has posted another of my poems on his marvellous blog. This one hasn't even shown its scuffed-up face in the Wooden World. You should have a gander. Go. Now.

http://tomclarkblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/wooden-boy-seascape.html

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Bus notes 21

The bus goes steadily along,
carrying our reluctance, variegated.
        Sometimes there's no longing,
        no urge to anything. We stop,
        start up and move along again
        the routine way.
White, almost, of sky
makes looking a given business;
nothing weathered and no brightness
to speak of, no shining signs. Nothing.
        What I resent is us being
        on our usual form, dead common
        (even the pretty one or two).
We're tricked into a dull humanness,
made to sit still and be bored
for the duration, all samey without thinking.
        Even a little hurt, some small vile turn,
        wouldn't go amiss.
No chance of bliss, though.
        Press the bell in time and off you go.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Which Side Are You On? [7]

Another Taken Shot

       So the dark haired boy
       lifts the megaphone and
       puts the set text
       through the mic.
       with fervour
       working to a purpose.

       The angle of his arm is fixed;
       a picture of marketable energy.

       And the girls’ eyes
       (they are all his type)
       go awandering
       across the empty map
       of his scrubbed clean skin.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Bus notes 20

We're coming down the Priory Rd.
and beside us is the wall they built again.
The water's coursing still.
        It's the limits of
        a territory where
        we aren't for ever, past
        the bramble thuggery
        to the clipped green grass.
The Autumn light is harsh
and nothing seems to refract it;
its critical movement scans us as present.
        Then a few stops on
        two small girls watch
        the scenes recede, delighted.
The same light pours in
through their hungry pupils
and glisters beginnings, pictures bliss.
        Whatever kind of ghost I could become
        I remember myself a light starting
        once and faraway and waking up
        to the best games for making.
     

     

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Which Side Are You On? [6.]

             Is it the thing
     to be noting down
              these filigree memos
           as the rain falls
              on the page
  and the ink runs
          gutterwards

and uncolours?

      The words
             all there
           will not be read.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Bus notes 19

She is reading her book
on becoming a doctor
with a cover done up
in nursery colours.
        I don't know what
        the sunshine from outside is for:
to light her aspirations?
        I know it won't 
        be reaching my seat today
        (which is fine). I'm folded
        in on myself and that's that.
Then the imaginary cancer appears
in a corner of me I can't get near to - 
        a somewhere, a shadow
        breathing in and out 
        all too regularly. 

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Which Side Are You On? [5.]

                    1997, the Union Club
                 on Pershore Rd.
                        a victory for someone
            or something

         We were mad
                      with the smuggled in Export
                 youngish monsters
        baring our non-activity
            unelected in our comic crowns
   bejewelled in theory

                Our faces didn't fit
                      and our shaved heads
                               our lapels
         with badges missing

     The word was SCORN (spilt ink
                           on nice clean sheets)
                  peeping out
                           from beneath our lids

         and the bunting coming down
      while we were idiot dancing
               shining like God watchers
             in the light of their laboured hate

              Then home again
                              home again
         vast in the back seats
                 declaring our sure sons’ love

                    As Mother drove
            we offered her
         strings of exquisite threats
                     for her unnamed enemies
             for mythed-up history
                       of slick class slights

              O that we might have
           voices that hurt
                      and shake so
                               red and wounded

            burning at the starting shot
                     to be revolting always and
                                           laughing
               with our unbit tongues
                           like the best of animals

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Bus notes 18

At first I thought she was a nun
        but she'd just taken a scrap of blanket
        and folded it perfectly about her head.
In the seat beside me
the feline stink communicated,
a cloud in which she was hid.
        The white tendril hairs from her chin
        slid through the invisible jelly air
        that keeps the non-smiles fixed
        and became the wires
        for a writing hand for a while.
I couldn't shake the revulsion and so
I became a provisional worshipper
of her mystery.
        Today I can type an Amen in
        and a Yes with imaginary ink.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Which Side Are You On? [4.]

A photo I took

       Look at the girl
       at the edge of the picture
       whose bluewhite fingers
       shade her eyes.

       Her dress drops limp
       from her collarbones
       in the still air
       to the demo's floor.

       When she tries
       to scarper, the hem snags
       on the frame’s edge;
       always figured before
       she can get gone.

       And she can’t ever
       make the words
       she wants to
       come out.

       To be seen
       or to be heard, noted
       or passed by;
       switches are clicking
       all over.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Bus notes 17

Coming through the Calthorpe Estate,
the houses are crisp and white
and resting in the greenery.
        White, still and softly spoken,
        they tell what having is in Georgian style
as we're bussed in to our relative invisibility.
        Still, our work does have us clocked
        so we might show up somewhere,
        nothing much to speak of; counted.
Squirrelled away in the lusher shade of our heads
there's a faded, garish picture of a Lenten feast
going on forever, almost
as forgotten as we will be.



Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Which Side Are You On? [3.]

There's me and Sam and Cliff and Jen
on this thinning line again.

Thinner consciences crawl in,
congealing under softened skin.

The politest picket ever seen
could not keep them from their routine.




Saturday, 25 August 2012

Bus notes 16


In the third year of the course,
Geoff had done the words
        and I was the noise,
        the music, the drapery
        to show up against.
After a term or so, the thing
took up too much time,
        his energy all out,
        an always pouring wound
        to be tended and wondered at.
There was too much Patti Smith,
too much Rimbaud, too many crystals
cut up fine and that John Giorno track on loop.
        Geoff was too overbearing, too hurt;
        the ragged fucker talking at a volume
        while all the quarter-witted others' 
        dead glossy PoMo non-jokes 
        spun about his vast head like flies.
For all the good odd flakes
of worded magic he’d thrown up
        I couldn’t help in time but wander off
        and paint till it got quiet.
Somebody told me later that the speed
and the work of living finally had him burnt.
He was sectioned and then sent out:
a series of single rooms endlessly.
        And so, years after, the 126: that voice
        out from the Three Estates
        and polished up, enunciated,
        seeped through the memoried self’s thin skin.
The hair had gone, along with
that good dress sense done on the cheap.
        We said hello, both wary and still fond.
He told me his address and on leaving him
I unthought it from my head; it took a while.
        A quiet bit of work; quarantining
        the past; a betrayal.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Which Side Are You On? [2.]

The long time
      growing lawn
                 anawim
    brute flowers  
Garden thick with
          bindweed couchgrass
       thistleheads (swollen
                  comedy thumbs)
          creeping buttercups
The future: bolted
            gone to seed
          and spreading
Uncommonly common
   flowers are all over
No place for getting
                the purchase
  on one anything
Just the red tatters
    blown down
               an uncleaned street
To catch a glimpse
What a green itch
         for other than just so

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Bus notes 15

Checked shirt, checked shorts
and a moustache trimmed to the regs,
the worn half of him rests on a stick
shielded with every Irish county.
        He ushers us all on
        for the Outer Circle
        using the magic of
        a gentleman.
The last shall be first
are the words burning.
.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Which Side Are You On? [1.]

This is the way we shake our hands.

Fucking comrades forever or for history,
we are. As sure as

the Thing is, you’ll be swallowing 

the bitter down
like there was no tomorrow.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Bus notes 14

The baghead, he moves through
the lower deck, thinner
than the boys in magazines,
with hungering gentilitie,
spaniel eyed.
        (We're going from the foot
        of the Sandon
        to the City Road).
Between stops, he makes up
quietness, a maybe grace.
His bit of a reprieve is nearly nothing
        but it's here.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The Tipped Up Ziggurat

      Chamberlain Square, B3
                               a greyed shell
           and the music is regretting, mostly

                         It's kept time.
     
                             shivering in bad nakedness
                       the wet facade

                  little ghost boys and girls
                all fingering the rotting pages

                             roses discarded
                        dead petal signals
                                   lettered leaves

                             What is all this writing?
                       places where hands
                                            were moving
                                        once they were
                                    like non-work

                               dying brightness

                                     The worms
                                                hunker down
                                           in the stacks;
                              they're the colour of numbers.

                              a schedule eating in

                          a catalogue of nearly happening
   
                               of going and of going
                                                      and of gone

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Bus notes 13


The young white man with the Yankees cap, 
bladdered, crawled on close to Tipton.
Now he slumps and drunk sleeps
near Galton Bridge.
        Off from his shift, a new face
        clocks the space no one would claim,
        shakes a shoulder and berates him
        between English
        and Punjabi (for the punters)
but he stays dead to everything
as the laughter catches almost all of us
with such ready collusion.
        Just by the temple the Sikh driver stops,
        walks up to them and pushes the lad
        toward the window.
Then he takes his short haired brother
(the Kara’s the main give away)
and with elegant force presses him down
to the seat beside him.
        For however long the pissed kid will not fall.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Sweets for my sweet


                   St. Columba’s:
                                    you remember
                        the wall of drunks familiar all
                                                        red and brightened
                                                      with the cider
                                               with everything outside

                           “What kind of life?” some woman said.
                
                                      alky forces
                                                 are drawing lines here

                                                      great bruised
                                                      bargain basement gods

                                   painting memos with sepia schmaltz
              
                               talking up their easy dissidence
                                                They’ve got those swollen rhetor lips.

                                           laughter slung out
                                                                        guttural

                                                      displaced since I can’t remember

                                        All of us are unoriginal.
     
                                 Any steady take is
                                                       all shook up
                                                    (somebody’s favourite song)
                                      The pictures they’ve still got
                                   are sliding
                    
                  This is a crew passing time, locally.

                     old woman
                                 her yellower hair
                                         loose skinned
                                   mouthful of most teeth missing

                                        She calls me over and offers me a sweet.
                                        the little boy hand dips in
 
                                               white papered mystery
                     
                                        touches the soft strings
                                        soft from something wrong
                                                                        gutted
                                                                a handful of cheap beef mince
                                                    gone green as I was
         
                           How those bastards laughed.

                                        I’m running up the street          
                                                  to catch the dry hand
                                     of where my dad is
               
                                     No tears come.
                                                  Just something like a question
                                               that must wait till whenever
                                                                   to be asked                         

                      

                                          


Tuesday, 31 July 2012

This is history! on Bong is Bard

Thank you to the lovely people of Bong is Bard for their publishing of the three from my series, This is history! It's been great to have the chance to read them in such a fine and righteous context.

If you have a serious interest in things poetical, you should take the time to visit. Go there. Now.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Bus notes 12

        Moving up Salisbury Road
        with some sunshine showing inside,
        the bus coming out of town
        at this time of morning
        is almost empty.
Strolling down the hill is Carl
with his hair surfeit
and the mere patch of face.
        A medal hangs from his neck
        two days since the games began.
        It serves as an amulet
        warding off those clouds
        of indignant flies
        respectable lungs blow out.
        His perfect ease won't give away
        that secret victory. He keeps it
        in closed, cupped, imagined hands.
We carry on up to the village,
going the wrong way slowly
with nothing as golden to show.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Early Eighties

            While we one way
                              fervent walk
                        in our sodality
                the Trad Jazz band play
        O when the saints
                Sisyphean style.

         In our bit of America
                   the missives 
                     that don't hold back
              will be trembling
                        near to posting time.

        A few days before
        we'd gone up the stairs
        in someone else's house
        with the posters eating in:
                    the girl with cloth patterns
               burnt into her arms
                    the little boy
               with the too heavy head
                    ubiquitous people shadows
               the smashed toyland
                    in greyscale

           It's as clear
                       as melanoma.                           

                              The day the old time siren
                              lullayed across the park
                fear subrosabound
                                  dropped softly on Dad's face
            toxic and gossamer thin.

                     The hem of that grazed us
                                         and sanctified us too.

                          We almost wanted to be goners 
                as our thinking
                         stretching fingers were
            a tip away from a cold
                     stilled
                  and nothing black full stop.