Vexed, tight-lipped, the look enough. He grips a fork, there’s work, no time to vent. He wants the jacket off, the dungarees aren’t clean, it ain’t Sunday.
His daughter’s reproach to look away. The house needs tidying. Her dress, brown as crops in drought, pinned with a cameo brooch. I wet my brush.
A laconic farmer, weather knapped, nodded. His labour not mine.
The path wrinkled a balding hill, knuckled rocks, no water clamour.
A lamb bleated, some bees bustled, a breeze lisped, my mind pettifogging
like fish flicker light in ponds. I paused my climb. The solitude proves
elusive, this path a pentimento of others. It reassured in a way.
No verdant splendor on Constable Drive, where kids kick balls against a graffiti hall and tags proclaim that Banksy is their Dad. The colours spray a leaf of Autumn’s shawl.
A virtuous Madonna will not grace this Raphael. A cul-de-sac for hordes of scallywags, all schooled with grown-up faces. They paintball play on those with posher doors.
The traffic slows on Turner Road with sleeping policemen. Scamps, tooled up with artist hearts, will grime your car with dirty sponges, demanding no coins. What they do they do for art.
Phil Wood was born in Wales. He studied English Literature at Aberystwyth University. He has worked in statistics, education, shipping, and a biscuit factory. He enjoys chess and learning German. His writing can be found in various places, including recently : Fragmented Voices, Gwyllion, Black Nore Review and a featured collaboration with photographer John Winder at Abergavenny Small Press.
You can find more of Phil’s work here on Ink Pantry.
My notion of heaviness Rests upon arms of her. Spring of my face Can be felt in in the weather of her face. She is gentle gentleness can be seen in her words. She is great. Her greatness can be seen in her gentleness. Flowers gets jealous for the aroma of her compassion. Time stops to see The beauty of her love. Bees try to rob sweetness Of her kindness. Pages of skies might be filled. Even ink is made up of ocean water. But she is beyond expression. She is within me. She is sweet and kind. Whom I call as mummy.
Kumar Ghimire is a Nepalese poet. His poems have been published on many national and international magazines like Sahitya Post, Polish Magazine, Synchronized chaos, writers club etc.
Using an obsolete map, drawn by a hand not my own, I search for the centre of myself, knowing I will never find it, but finding my steps swift and easy with the possibility, like a treasure hunt guaranteed to end with treasure, no matter how many find the place.
I Think of You
For one hidden weekend my dick became part of you, your cunt a part of me, like homes made for only one soul, before being left empty when that soul moved on.
Then, real life began and we never knew each other again,
not as intimately at least, encountering each other in corridors and meetings, the occasional conferences and wide lunches, our bodies whispering to each other, your wedding band drowning them out with frantic whispers of its own, insistent and louder than its whispers of before, the whispers we had so gloriously ignored.
To Seek the Sky and Never Know the Ground Again
The wax from my wings has melted and scalded my skin, while my feathers released dance higher than I ever could, free as they are now from the confines of the gloriously inglorious ideas of men.
And the ground has greeted my body like a lover intent on harm.
I am broken, but breathing, and already my bones are healing, their sound audible over the rasp of my lungs.
I will rise again, because I can, because I must, the sky above me all I can see,
the sky above me, and I below it where I was never meant to be.
Edward Lee’s poetry, short stories, non-fiction and photography have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen, The Blue Nib and Poetry Wales. His poetry collections are Playing Poohsticks On Ha’Penny Bridge, The Madness Of Qwerty, A Foetal Heart and Bones Speaking With Hard Tongues.
He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Orson Carroll, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy.
She walks in liberty, not her own, When she thinks of her homelands, That now exist nowhere but in her mind, Homelands that they had fled years ago, Memory takes where the body can’t follow.
When she thinks of her homelands, She thinks of women’s hands, Drawing water from deep seated wells, Hands busy praying, shackled by noisy bangles and rings, tokens of courtship, No different from bells chiming on bobbing heads of cattle, tokens of ownership. Hands riding like spiders on sewing machines as life tightens around. Hands, because everything else disappears under rolls of cloth, rolls that are stamps of imposed modesty, rolls enough to cover the earth, rolls that wrap her down to the marrow of her bone, like a long leash. Rolls, until one cannot tell the silhouette from the downcast shadow on the ground. Each silhouette indistinguishable from the other, prints on reams of cloth Frayed at edges, faded here and there, masquerading without a sound.
If she speaks it is called gossip, if her hands are not busy, she is cut to size. Hence all you hear are her bangles and busy hands, waking before sunrise. For you, Freedom, she risks her life and liberty, to give you to others, protests all, Burning down like candles, each to each, giving feet to freedom, hands to dreams. In your name, Freedom, they finally do for themselves, what others care not to do for them. For you, some leave behind all they own. They carry what their hands can hold and hold on to you, a million on the move.
Vaishnavi says ‘She walks in liberty’ is inspired by Byron, but with the ongoing Iran protests in mind.
About a Schizoid Going (after Philip Larkin’s ‘Going, Going’)
I thought I would pass through time – A sense that, against the crowds, There would still be sanity in body-and-mind, Where the nurses shout and climb Such flowers as freedom shrouds; I thought I would pass through time
Mid deaths and desks and side streets And mind-revelled cloisters, but suns Have always split Man’s thoughts so far; And when the sane mind retreats And when the bleak insiders come I can only rethink every easy car.
The mad are fuller than we are, just As birth will always be gone However we kiss it about; Wrap the brain around trees, if you wish: The foam will be smothered beyond. -But, what should I think now? That
The sane are freed? Or that minds thrill? Easy it is to be too young, but This mind must seen aged, and doubt Must cede away all sanity and Love – More times, more bad rages filled, More sadnesses, more mental cuts. These
Are the drafted spectacles of us all That we, at odds with Life, will collate As five per cent of our thoughts (and nine Per cent more in the inner mind) move Our grave works into spoiling veils (More, contusions!) For minds
Are criers; o, to get nearby the hot sea Interns a mad sail… It seems, just here and now, To be maddening all too fast; Despite all the flexed thoughts left teased At this teetering instant i feel somehow That sense shall never really last,
That, before minds snuff it, wholeness Will think aside a gallows in the heart – First truths, then surely blind gurus: This roll in minds is all to hard to win, Now that thought is a softly foaming art.
And this is certainly our sanity gone, The meadows, the spheres, hot veins, Our furling and uncurling, the Scented and sensibly cleaned. There shall Be sane looks; but all that now remains Shall be for all time shot and laid bare.
All Sanity is Purple (after Philip Larkin)
The hash-pipe breathes, the cedars dourly sway And so ‘Dear schizoid darling, I am afraid?’. Funny how bad the madness roams.
I could wend half of my brains, if I wanted, Rolling in the bones unburied, canted Over to catch the ribald of a fix Which is bred and fled from a petri-dish;
Just think of all the rare minds that have flown Direct into madness just by being drilled With hawks and stasis, rather the fast thrills of lamplight, or the noise of the moon
Looking up and up through the floes of the moon Thinned to a prayer-harked praise. This life, unspun, is madly instilled. ‘All sanity is selfish.’ No-one just now Believes in the mind or the mental stash
Talking to God (who’s mad too); the big lash Is the maddening of people who are nice to you, Which means doing nothing, but somehow Saying, ‘All sanity is purple.’ Are
these bad lines, then, vying for madness? Vying for steeples and chapels that dig Deeply for the ‘devil’ (who’s a mad bad ass)? ‘But try to feel, because, however sanely Madness tries to show us how we should be Appear infectious. A chuckle, too. Oh!
Only the young can be sanely strewn. Their minds are shorter, shall be tamed; Theirs is a floatless time. Now, see! Sitting on the Ward brings us no light, Brings us instead to darkest night.
Beyond the bones stand sadness and remorse. ‘This is the fucking truth, of course?..
Poetry for the Damned (after Philip Larkin)
sometimes you hear, ninth-hand, as schizoid epitaph: ‘he just sheared off his ears and went far away..’ and forever the voices will sound, contagious and disproved, this sad madness, this patronising groove
and voices are right, i guess. we all go mad at having to be here: i detest this tune, its manically frozen junk, the mad looks, the old beds; this poor life, raping, screaming:
so hear it said ‘He just sheared off his ears and went away’….Let this voice see you stirred, let things like women crawling, or bastard babbies on the prowl assure of you and your calling. ‘If He did, She did’
It’s words like this that say ‘Yes, swagger the slut-spooned roads, crouch in sex follicles proud with patent shaving’..If it weren’t so confidential, such a considerate step back would not dictate an object, but would stay the course:
mad looks, bad beds; real Life made comprehensively NORMAL.
Side by Side, Their Mindscapes Stirred (after Philip Larkin’s ‘An Arundel Tomb’)
Side by side, their mindscapes stirred, The doctors and the nurses lie atoned, Their doctored habits vainly shown As pointed grinning, stylised leap And that mad glint of birds The minute tablets underneath rude sleep.
Such glibness of the mental lock Barely rolls an eye, until It turns their laughing gauntlet, still Rasped about mind-ether; and One sees, with a gasp of schizoid shock, Their fans outdrawn, raping through sand.
They do not think to live too long. Such wakefulness in litany Is just a detail pity sees: A mad-man’s massed and melted face Shrugged off in helping to prolong The cocking veins amidst old lace.
They do not guess how early on In our tortured, wasted life-voyages The prayers must change, or come to damage, And burn the gold patients away; How soon those giddy pleading eyes begin To flit, but not see. Childishly, they Resist, blink, through kicking kinkered breaths Of time. Crows fly, berate. Night
Each winter, hordes the past. A bright Pittance of healing screws slaps the insane Groan-gridded ground; and up from masks, Grey friendless maddened pupils flame, Washing true identity away.
O, now, crawling in the gallows of An emptied, endless grave, blue laughs Star-sadden the eyries of a busted brain; Above these traps of misery, Only rectitude remains.
Minds have transposed sin into Closed coops. Their aimless impropriety Has barely come to mean anything; And our most manic, utmost wish is What will survive us is purely dust. ..
About Recovering Beauty (after Philip Larkin’s ‘Ambulances’)
Proud and professional, these beds thread proud blooms of mystery, give back a long, lingering orb to every schizoid smile. Bright, glossy, fay, charms on their backs, they come to rest on every ward: all streeted slab minds are visited.
The nurses strewn midst warts and brogues or children running from the trees past cells and wimpled swingers seize each wild and whitened face that tops each champing blanket; momently, as madness matters swathe and marry:
And sense now the rolling scentedness that cries beneath all dreams made blue, and for a second greet the high soul, so healthful, mad and fucking true. The patient wards conceive. ‘My, My’ they whisper at their own dismay.
For formed away in some deep wound may flow the insane yell of lust round lonely living so near death’s end, and what was revered in its dead crust amongst blind tears, the wrangled rend of familial mummy dadas, there
At last time starts to heighten. Far from the constraints of christs that lie unreachable inside life’s tombs the doctors fart and let sex fry through closer things than what has come, and thrill to mind-mess all men are?
Mockery and Sons (after Philip Larkin’s ‘Dockery and Son’)
The doctors were senior to you ‘Weren’t they?’ said the girl. ‘They qualify for politeness!’ Bad-booted, mad within, I nod. ‘And do You pray for them or how?’ I remember when Pram-mounted, breast-buckled, and still entirely bright I used to hang upon the desks, to give ‘My Vision’ of those ‘Adults in the chairs.’ I try the tablets, take things down and ‘live’ then
Swallow..The dawn spreads mentally above. A bone bell chimes. I lie straight above Annals of carers, pass along and glide Madly from my view. But the doctors, my God. Any churl’d think they made the Earth In ’93, when ‘god’ fell ill. If they be senior, did they get their charms At the beginning, when…? But I am that withdrawn,
Sly in my blinking, public gaze, sharing tombs With madder men, mad boys. Well, it just shows How nobody…How no-one…Screaming, I suppose I was asleep, retching on the croons And the hospice-glares of London, where, deranged, I made a filthy sign, and chugged along My mind to see self’s end and then, the strange Purloining and departing of my innocent song.
Unscented by mamma moon. To have no sanity, no life, No love or lust still seemed completely right. Only a dud humerus registered the knock Of finding out how much had gone of mind-time How spryly from my mothers. Massed doctors now: Only children, they must have wanted, and played rude Enough to.. No, that’s not so: rather, how
Convinced they were of what my mind must do! Why did they think that thinking meant release? To me, a mind means confusion. Where did these Manic mindscapes come from? Not from what We think cruelest, or most want us to be: These steel-shut eyes, like Wards. They’ve all the style Our tiny lives give to them: well, just for a while, Then suddenly, completely shut away, and,
How we die here; look back on them, run Like vesicles, thick and gross, embodies none For Doctors, for medications, nothing, Nothing with all a Doctor’s promise of a gloat. This mind is first factual, then entirely mad. Whether or not we use it, it dies, And leaves behind what little something may, And rage, and then the only plural of that rage.
The Schizoid Spreading (after Philip Larkin’s ‘The Whitsun Weddings’)
‘All year, through the sprawled minds that swept For centuries inland, A low and sloping word was routward kept. Loud skies went by, thought-straddled battles, and Endless voices floating on a cough; A rattle smashed completely: pleasures dipped And died; and now and then a spell of sparks Defaced each week of beauty, truth and wrath Until the endless year, now crude and stripped, Encroached upon a hospital of stars.
At first, I did not notice what a noise The madness made Each patient that I stopped at: time deploys The dints of mental illness like a grave And down the cold steeled wards, the groans and skirls I took for porters hissing midst their veils, And went by pleading. Once I’d slept there, though, I heard them, grimacing and screaming; girls In pastiche, torrid clothing, heels and nails, All drugged completely, watching me flail,
As if out on the end of a scent Raving and complaining To something that denied them. Lost, I bent Backwardly and forwards, now defamed And heard the horror once again and shrill: The brain with bad welts beneath its boots And furrowed foreheads; nurses proud and cracked; An empire shouting Slut! And then the ferns, The spitting gloves and tablets on the rack, The cocoa, coffee, medicated flaps
Marked off from me, who was now all adrift. Yes, from ward to ward And whitecoats by the yard, and naked breasts In the hands of detectives, the schizoid shores Were bleating like a fiend. All down the mind Fixed children danced abroad. My rest was ground, My pale complexion lost and always blown, And, as I moved, each waif seemed to define Just what I saw contorting. Nurses frowned At something killed; doctors assumed the real?’
…Mad Dawn for the Crows (after Philip Larkin’s ‘Saturday Show’)
‘mad dawn for the crows, but crows cram these callowed veins. within, like closing doors, the weekend has begun. frogs (the mind’s gel, the mind’s mentor), and lizards, (the reins on a mental bit); ahead of them, the freaks, (jackknifed and eaten); amongst the freaks, clicking cogs (all clockless and chilling). denouncements, gabbling, clash within a weekday man, whose dollar bills are strapped to some bricks and mortars; but there’s more than merely money. purple clowns, (marooned men); a hobo with a begging heart; a tear weeping weed; and then the mad laughter. for each weekend scene is linked to faces: faces not given to life: faces that crap inside four winds; faces whose owners are demented. and now come the wired-offs ones; the howling brothers and sisters; then the thighed bents of glowering peachers; and then the bright vivisectors who eyeball brains for stains; then the blanching breaking sadnesses of sufferers and the dark and intershining veracities of sex ushers, fallowed and burned to the core by their idiotic cottonreels; then the umpteen heads; and the vermillion of broken thinkers, and the burned up fire and the breast murdering vomiting saviours, and the tired red busbies, thugs, needlers, tramps, and angled fools, all worthlessly brained and overturned, and the beeless hives burgeoning inside mad dust. All these, outside dreams, prove a schizoid saturday is here and cumming, and the called cut girls, soaking in their shoes, turn thrice inside spind sin
o the bricked in babies, and the manacled mothers; the stereo meadows boundering into nothingness and the crawling, champering tears of card, moving on for inevitable moons, and packed drivers not caring, dead, and the overloaded lorries and the rumba loaded trucks and the pitiful wastes in the stoned. these, outside all sentient wondering, prove that Friday is over- the men with guns, the mastiff breeders, and the veiled depictions of pornstars staring down from every billboard, and the lazy wives, and the saddleswaggerers, and the plugfaced husbands on the prowl. all of these are outside the Sanity Sermon, and, as if proving god’s mistake, hang themselves up in bedsit kitchens for tiny boys to look at as the stars look down. in the mind’s exchange, the evening is coming to an end, as, dismantling, the slow exigencies of the brain range from life to death, death to light, and from incandescent green to red.
below, there are sharp rocks and cliffs, some vicars crying, and angels scrying this world for jade as its siren whistles down cut shins – and as doctoring proctors and padres and muggers and the meadow maidens with hair as soft as slush and, of course, the cretins in the corridors, and the reason behind it all the reason for this, their Schizoid Saturday, slavering and hurtling upwards, and beyond, where no-one, not even the saviour himself may bring red cars around and about into something more than searing mind-pain, into something more than the intensely sad and ordinary.’
1987 (After Philip Larkin’s, MCMXIV)
and the knife-shops and wynds meandering to nowhere the coins and pounds unsung in pockets roaring under sickness, as the day grows greyer than the Thames that flows due north-
inside the skulls of men, no answer is now heard to questions passing under funereal mien, black as thunder. burned by souls of children, with the clarion heard outside, each wedding, fluke must flow from the mouths of women…
this is the word i heard when god’s man denounced each spurring bastard bird the skies beyond the clouds lay driven with the dead and all i heard was real tonight began to fall and thrall whereat no fear perfused the brightest eye.
never such itinerance never before or since has come to wipe away the language of this mind, nor in this barren place, where terror slicks thick around the tithes in heart, might infancy concede
to charge the codes of love whence life begins to find the sliding scale of rot that burns inside the heads of the hedons on the hills, as the fields of london grow crueller than the night this night beyond all seeing?
The Ward (After Larkin’s unfinished poem, The Dance)
Madness, sadness, scabs – all bad things, boy: far too bad to be diluted by ‘The Ward’; that simple, fiddle-browed pretence at each atom of the thoughts that really….’ But contusive speech slows at my equally contusive brain, that in the sharpened rivers sees the games in maddened houses, maddened ruts. Bright handles purr in the apple trees. The sun is cold. The cities are touch dry. Syringe. Tablet. Needs. All this, simply to foam like a star? Half-killed, half-companioned by the drill, I let myself by shambled spirit be haled out across the skies and divots of the dawn. No pretence now. Hard scars harp round the scorn and man each reproach. The night has almost failed, and the quaint rubbing pliancy – some hand I have been mad enough to veil – disclaims me from an upstairs window and comes more than madly into my lure: Mad, bad territory… And, once more, the nurses, doctors, still in their same old coats, charm-ballooned and chained, the floors vibrating with alarm, the not you, not me on every lip. I edge amongst the boys towards a surface and, lacking lividity, poise on its pledge – serviced, demured and calmed by every tablet and injection, emitting low squeaks and gleaning back to view the whole melee of madness shifting, crowding – and, with my peeple in the upper skies, lose. Why cry? the scene is writing and loud. Assemble socially, be entertained by my sitting in this dress, in the rooms like these, saying I cannot think – saying more about when I could Really drink stone, or, in bed, listening to the voices – be led off into the shaking looks and stares, and then beyond the glistening hands, where glazed faces swagger into violence at my sitting there, and your lies greet me midst foreign spaces, and your charms are disparate, and I wish entirely for sanity and moments on remand, by which the stacked faces might move. Clumsily, though, as something starts up, your look’s embarrassing and forever lustful: everything I look for is deception – the red ploys, the clad-eyed girls, and through the doors, the spinning plates of dinners. Grown less real than ever, this sudden place strikes me at once as a stage-name, or a wasteground hard to tell truths by; I feel the impact, glib and raw, of a tremendous yearning, answering back as if I had no questions. In the drugged and snarled muse of the moment, beneath cover after cover, I permit a few movements of my head; you suggest eating, but my chest is full of food, quickens and tightens at the destinies of souls, at each croft descrying of love. For something acutely local – me as I can only be – has taken you down into something acutely transitory, like the slightest touch, or impulse, or deflection of the mind. Why we act eternally, why we snatch and cry, is not the reason for the fingers, but the reason we slacken together. I am caught by your tears; they stand effusive and lovely, where the band strikes up another tune, and they, midst tempos doffed, take small things by the hand and fly. I wonder whether this sudden place is all; I wonder why we die. Then I creel back to the stars, where they’ve surmised that anyone thinking is dead, and find you and a cup-of-tea shrinking and casting off survival. Lost in music, then, you look at me, as if bereft, and outline me with sharpening altruisms, so yearning, full and fine, that I cannot keep my step. This tense elation is a turn-off, though, it means so little to the voices, and, localised in half-way houses, is better of forgotten. Couples now arrive, leave gaps and cross words with angry strangers, falter and cleave away. I lean forwards, lest I go on swimming, and souse my throat with imminent smiles. How right it is to look away, I do not know, yet here I stop and pray, and let you have your innocent guilt bewrayed to switching partners in a stabbed, bad set: how useless it is to invite the madman, how sad to see my own life again! I ought to go, be gone, get going; instead I let doctors tell me how they are and are going to be, and sweep some coke from the kitchen, breathe, and lie in hectares of sand. You tread heavily to The Ladies, and see my coat hanging subsistently, and the chains and taps and basins falling, falling into the sun. Chuckle, please, for now the doctors hum a merry, revelled tune, and go at once away. See! they need pennies and pounds! I ought to change when I see you waving, but, until I have crossed your smile with a rumour, I shall be first dark, then light. This is the serious earth; its deep dark chill is omen-laden and museless. Chuckle! for now the wards lie, content and laughing.
Jim Bellamy was born in a storm in 1972. He studied hard and sat entrance exams for Oxford University. Jim has won three full awards for his poems. Jim has a fine frenzy for poetry and has written in excess of 22,000 poems. Jim adores the art of poetry. He lives for prosody.
You can find more of Jim’s work here on Ink Pantry.
I think we searched the roots of the night feeling our way through the stars and moonlight bumping into our own shadows.
you wrote my name with the stars and made a love song with the wind I watched the night play with the heavens.
walking barefoot in the summer grass with the scent of lilacs and the kiss of rain and thunder was rising in my heart.
silence was sung by a string of stars and the moonlight fell upon us with its fingers dreams were reality and you left like a shadow.
decades of nights and hours of summer dreams fade with time but grow larger in memory where time can’t control this kind of passion.
The Scent of Roses and Starlight
a soft kiss moves within the night’s mist and the stars bend their eyes from heaven because I loved this strange blush upon my shoulder time brings back the memories of the immense light as it overshadows my deep blue eyes.
these eyes that had no sight without him in them no vision without the love that was a mere falling star there are no feet that could carry my soul away like he has time revolves around each lost moment in my eyes and memory lives and dies each second in my soul.
to never notice the sky being so large and empty until now maybe the stars have chosen to hide me from my dreams to cover my lips with clouds of intense loss and silence or to sever the fragrance of roses and moonlight to my mind there comes a remembered thirst upon my spirit.
to live in the daylight and only wade through darkness or to stumble in the pale light of a lasting lunar passion O’ where are the stars I once saw and counted as riches ! where am I to be lost in the midst of strangeness ! to walk in the shadows cast by the bending stars.
Myrtle Thomas is a contemporary poetry writer who writes of ranging topics and observations of life. She has been published in the ‘Otherwise Engaged A Literature and Arts Journal’ and in ‘The Writers and Readers Magazine’. She lives in the USA and is retired from a large manufacturing company which affords her time to write.
Driven; relentless; no quarter asked of himself or given.
Workloads shouldered in an agony of against-the-clock momentum.
“My time is now” – raison d’être as epitaph in waiting. Self-discipline
as an act of self-destruction.
In interview, he is charm itself; enthusiastic to the point of boyish:
the transformation comes as he takes the stage,
metaphysical as it is palpable –
a rising, a deepening; something to do with stature, with aura. Something to do
with an almost impossible synergy.
Neil Fulwood was born in Nottingham, England, where he still lives and works. He has three collections out with Shoestring Press: No Avoiding It, Can’t Take Me Anywhere and Service Cancelled, with a fourth scheduled for publication next year.
For Peace comes slow A sudden birth Unexpected win Balms your soul A royal blue impish touch Sometimes A hurricane It just Soothes For Peace comes slowly More difficult Than Love Loving One Each breath Each Eyelash It is private A fine jewel Must be hidden Kept Under your shirt For peace is precious Than Love Itself.
The e-mail kiosks lock on to me as I cruise the Mall. My exo- skeleton — beltbuckle, glasses, the tips of my shoes, even the decidedly feminine gold chain I have around my wrist — lights up with messages. They are not for me; I am being mistaken for someone else. But there are few shops in this part of the strip & I’m a snoop be- sides, so I read them with half an ear, even though my heart is in the jeweller looking through their recipes for eloquence & my soul is in the toystore set on rich dark fruit cake laced with brandy.
Strange, dear, but
true, dear. The Cole Porter song enters my morning mind as if it had every right to be there, as if it lived there & was returning home after a night out. But not simply the song, a specific rend- ition of it. k.d. lang’s, first heard on the Red Hot + Blue tv special & subsequent album compilation. What is stranger is
how to interpret the locus of the singer, of the mindsong. In the video, k.d. lang sings as if she is person who is being sung to; & in my mind, it is also as if I am the recipient. To personalize, it is the not-I singing to the other which is me. It’s a tableau that has a logic only because of its similarity to that Magritte painting
La reproductioninterdite in which a man is looking into a mirror in which his re- flection is thrown back, but as if seen from the back. Twenty years ago I wrote of this painting: “Shown from the back the image is androgynous — think k.d. lang in her man’s suit phase.” & here she is again. Strange, dear, but true, dear.
I-less in Gaza
Nothing makes sense anymore. Everything does. I bind my camel to a smokestack at the edge of an anticlimax & set the guidebook alight to give me light to better read it by. The hidden pattern in the last flicker of a hologram tells me I’m in Machu Picchu where I shouldn’t be. Entropy arrives to peck out my I- balls. Equilibrium. It’s a eunuch experience.
Mark Young was born in Aotearoa / New Zealand but now lives in a small town in North Queensland in Australia. His most recent book — his sixty-second in fifty-five years — is with the slow-paced turtle replaced by a fast fish, published in 2023 by sandy press.
You can find more of Mark’s work here on Ink Pantry.