Q and A

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Q and A

why are we
in a
poem

why can’t we
just take the world
as it is?

with the Universe
there is no
outside
versus
inside

creation and creator
are not other then me

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SOUTH AFRICAN BUKOWSKI

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SOUTH AFRICAN
BUKOWSKI

they dug for gold
for diamonds;
still dig

throwing up dumps
leaving holes
big enough to
bury the Moon

but the South African
Bukowski takes
it all in his stride

his clothes, his hair
his skin “indiscriminate”
squeezing between
the jondolos
as he navigates
his own quiet
social history of
terminal poverty

and yet
kind of
flying

wheezing through
the acrid air
everywhere
he looks

gold,
diamonds
no one
figured yet what
absolute abundance

image of
the breast that
never lacks for milk

SYLVIA

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SYLVIA

there is no
literary irony
that life
cannot outdo

what did you think?
what did you believe?
(the questions that
haunt like
icy winds
in your head)

did you imagine
your poems would speak for you
come to your recuse
drown out
those dark voices?

My dear, you know,
as do I, that
they come from
the same place

no readers are here now
to offer praise or
share suffering

there is only
the despair, a world gone cold
as a winter crematorium
closed temporarily
for peace

Oh the lightning
of those people, their
sure male-lion faith
in conquest, in sexual prowess

but now you burrow to where
the gas hisses, asphyxiating,

none of the power of
those vital animals, powerful
brutal, beautiful

we all know
the poem

THOSE METAPHYSICALS

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THOSE METAPHYSICALS

Oh those metaphysicals
they knew how to tickle
a poem out of
an abstract idea

knew how to
stimulate
intellectually and
sexually (but always
so sweetly and
judiciously, the one
dove-tailing
with the other)

look: here’s John Donne
drafting his blood-
biting flea sexual conspiracy
in which he will
(shades of
Houdini) compress
all his lust inside
a flea carapace
to go down
on his love
know her
microscopically

and here’s Marvell
threatening Armageddon
what seems like
green nuclear annihilation
(talk relativity and
quantum mechanics
to these guys and
see what happens!)

green shade my arse! you
are thinking
of deconstructing culture, reducing
it to bare Nature

as in that other poem
where you stopped the Sun
just to get laid

it’s the sky turning green, dimwit, the
sea going fawn and rising to
swamp the land which
has already
gone desert

if you
are thinking like Descartes of
negating our existence (new
Paradise in
the making: make way! Make way!)

perhaps you
could do us the favour (barest
minimum) of
a three-minute warning

whilst you
and your Coy Mistress
make hay
make sunshine

(so glib
with our future, this supposed
“man for Parliament”).

LEAPS AND BOUNDS

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LEAPS AND BOUNDS

I was the man
in the wheelchair
self-
propelled machine

history had left me alone
on stage during
a history play

I was
to be a mechanical in
a life-celebrating comedy

but they
all went home
and I, well I’m
still here

watching as my skin peels off
my limbs wither, old
life is sloughed

but on the upside
my teeth remain, just (forgive
the overkill) two
twin fangs

long and hinged and
loaded with toxic venom
(my internal
chemistry as you
see, now evolving

by leaps and
Ophidian bounds

no one now
need
(or indeed
dare)
push me around

ICE COLD

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ICE COLD
“they showed him
the meaning of humanity”
JM Coetzee, “Waiting
for the Barbarians”

you need Russian Front cold
to know humanity

to feel in your bones
what our ancestors felt

or you need those
tropical burrowing parasites inside you
to feel as helpless as they did
regarding your body

the heat poundingly oppressive
every day a bitter paean to
the power of the Sun

you need
something like this

and best I can do for you
is political prisoner in
cramped windowless solitary

there they
will reduce your humanity
to thing you would renounce
thing you can
fit in a box
squeeze and crush entirely

and then show and tell
the Universe, through you,
through your transformation

there is no humanity
only ideology