OR

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OR

a very dark irony
sat at the bottom
of my desk drawer

waiting for me
to cut my hand
on its sharp edge

or murder someone
bloodlessly
in a poem

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MY GRANDMOTHER’S

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strangely, I never thought of my grandmother’s
as the place where my mother was
once a young girl

once, aged two, I tried to escape
my father and mother, see my gran
pedal in my little red car
all the way to her house
not such
a good idea
was found out

later I would spend much time there
my younger sister sitting quietly
under the dining room table
whilst I would sketch vistas
of war, scenes of massive battle
(no way of knowing which
side would win
that war, every encounter
so bloody, so pyrrhic

my grandmother thought I would be a draughtsman
could draw beautifully and precisely
to meet the high technical standard
attained by my father

somehow straight lines were
just not me

not much of the house do I remember
except the clock getting closer and closer
to the time to go home
my mother straight from her shorthand
and typing job (such a great, fast typist) to
take me
and Sharon home

away from this place steeped in the mystery
of family, and its intersection with history

down in
the cellar, my grandfather’s workshop
(where he would make
out of pray wheels and board, my prized
purple bogie-cart racer)

and up on the wall, mounted
the cylindrical shape of a Vickers machine gun
his weapon of choice
over there, in France,

when a
much younger man

THING SOMETHING ELSE

THING SOMETHING ELSE

the alien drug
lay on the table in
a single vial

a metallic golden yellow
taunting me, telling me
how I am too timid,
not the type to
take a drug such as this

to risk everything on
something simply beyond definition
something threatening
promising

to alter the very architecture of my brain
turn every three
dimensional structure into
tesseract, into four

and me both inside experiencing
and outside watching it happen

in absolute ecstasy of
new unimaginable life
terror of absolute living death

and, so forever,
this drug’s trip lasting forever

promising total merging, identity, absorption,
yet total separation, dissolution, division

an alien drug
sole vehicle for turning
thing that you are
into thing
something else

BY ALL MEANS

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BY ALL MEANS

by all means
if you feel in the mood
reward me for
my time
your time

this space, this life
just rented (and
yet so
cold, so homeless)

nothing owned, least
of all my life,

and yet my head
full of libraries to huge to
fit in any palace —
would dwarf the
Taj Mahal

battling across an empty desert,
across frozen tundra
pulling a Cheops pyramid in a cart behind me

let me leave it to posterity
to speculate, argue,
how it could be that an ancient human
managed to get these books together
slot then one on top of the other
to erect such
a mausoleum
or perhaps

a structure of deeper symbolic meaning
in that lost civilization

whose meaning the future
will never be able to hold to account,
never mind happily rationalize
hopelessly unable
to comprehend

THE POINT (POINT BLANK POEM)

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THE POINT (POINT BLANK POEM)

we’ve reached the point of swatting poets
as they scurry past like noxious insects

using words in ways detrimental
to the great project of the corporate State

whose leaders divinity they openly insult
or ideologically deconstruct

casting aspersions on the absolute truth
that they are true leaders because God
has
so endowed them
with gloriously pornstar masculinity

that fully erect they span the galaxy
this, according to Holy Word, death
by torture to deny

Regime

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REGIME

Sirrah!
with your bastardized right-wing
clap-trap you accost me

so sour at the thought of
an emancipated world
your parents must have
soused your tender childhood
in spirit vinegar

I do not listen
I do not speak

what poem, rejoinder,
witticism is there
in the owner’s manual
for this moment?

spouting, spitting, desperate
to sing

spluttering: ah, yes

your throat
sliced open

maybe death will
have the patience I lack
to listen to your vision
of your perfect
people’s leader and
new national regime.

ICE BLUE

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ICE BLUE

my poem is ice
your body

cannot
melt it

you can do the whole
against your nipples
nine and a
half weeks

but hot as you are you
cannot unfreeze this poem

see! feel!
hold it against your warmest part
still it flows centuries slow, like a glacier

whilst
I burn ice blue

like an insanely hot sun
like a star
whose Hydrogen to Helium chemistry produces
produces unbelievable, off
the scale temperatures