Smiler at a Funeral

He watched
As all the people
Who’d ever pressed a pacifier
Into a baby’s mouth,
A drink
Into a protester’s hand,
Contracts
Into his
All blew up in a grey terror
Of song and of weeping
And he smiled
Because that is what they taught him
Because death could not make him
Forget.

Those Days

The women across the street
use sepia photographs to instill
in their children the values of
paper-cuts.

A slow long-suffering sun sets
upon their wiry heads, the glow
is fading, yet spreading and growing
mould.

The women around the church
talk about Those Days, when, we presume,
death knocked on the door,
tipped his hat,
and left politely,
as everything seems to do
in a golden frozen Past.

Waking Up

Take me to a dream
I can realise.
Step back – just
that far and nothing further, for
my craft requires witnessing. Then
turn away. Feel
the warmth blubbering
out like fat escaping from meat
in the fryer, all
that is only a dream
escapes the dream.
A white cartilage skeleton of plans
of checklists all ticked off
remains in the pan
when you turn around
and I’m not there anymore.

; therefore

All you love in me
is nothing. Gratitude
is a drug that helps
us swallow the most
nauseating of things.
Resentment. Pride. The hate
erupts from me
more so than kindness
more so than coins
dropped into donation boxes.
All wishes are selfish
by nature, by the need
to lose ourselves the pain
of empathy, by eliminating
the source of the pain. So
you love all the things
that are no things at all;
therefore you don’t love me.

Managing

Taking out loans of happiness
from early productive mornings
Spending time to atone
with mourning and misery –

Taking notes from videos
of friends sitting in a room, talking
Spending time to atone
several volumes of intangible loans

Taking out sleep in the night
to pore over notes I took
Spending away the future
repairing the bridge to the past

Taking a break
for breaking
Spending on
opportunity costs

Taking out loans of happiness
all yellow and syrupy, now
Spending it on survival;
building up a debt.

Snowman

The prototype of a snowman
is the smiling child who builds it
with little leaf eyes a little too
life-like.
The prototype of a snowman
is hats, crowning ambiguous fluff
with the shape of anthropomorphism,
slightly lumpy.
The prototype of a snowman
flips through years like pages
of grey-scale stories that melt
away.

Insomnia

Riddled with phantoms at this late and deathly hour –
a heart bright grey and striking the chest! a jolt
behind the solar plexus –
And streams of Consciousness become
branched with tributaries of thought
that sail away on ink.

 

Socks

All on Earth are socks
Things we slip out of
And slip on.

Things like illness and
Dirty blankets and
Quiet rain.

Things like accolades,
Mortar boards, suits and
Pallid shrouds.

Socks can go on hands,
Feet, your dog’s ears, your
Mind, maybe

Layers of odours
Leave as they please, though
We attach

Them in enamel
Pins on the lapels of
Uniforms

Make statements out of
Unmaking things, socks
Grow threadbare.