Watching Scraps: Magnolia

In Magnolia, abusers are forgiven their crimes by frogs falling from the sky. This means that it answers its own question about the coincidence or not of events with a resounding dollop of ‘everything is chaos’. Or it must be a sort of redemption story, having this Christian vibe. But who is redeemed? We are given reasons for some of the abusers’ behaviour, but that doesn’t constitute a redemption. Breaking down in tears is not a redemption, nor is a phone call. Dying is not a redemption, nor is admitting to wrongdoing. Redemption is the hard work that comes after the realisation of wrongdoing, and the apology.

Dark Dogs in the Morning

The darkness fell onto me like a fever
stirring – stripping and dressing in cold
I picked up my phone, and wiped breath from it
Weak coffee. I left the house, slid doors,
the dogs pressed against me – flickering
buzzing, sparking – something was up
but I didn’t know what.
            I set off

seeing the shoals of mist swim
in morning dark where day is forgotten
and the choral synthesiser drone of stars
shook me, made me shiver – I drowned it out
with my headphones. Walked out
with my pathetic torch across
the wood and farm-land in the mould black
morning – marvelling at the absolute lack
of magic, there in the dust-clump wood.
I glanced around me, saw nothing
thought ‘but wolves, but wild boars’
I smiled, took a fast pace down
the bend to the flood-plain
where I imagine the flesh-fade
of dawn began to apply itself to night

***

Later on return – left tracks
in the forest frost grass from the mansion
to the servant’s quarter
my breath was even more eager than I
to get to the house, it ran ahead
but stopped suddenly – a dead deer
half, half-eaten, eyes open
as the ground is open to the falling
sat there, on the cold patio.
Poachers only want the hind-half
I later learned – I felt the cold fur
brush past, long hair of the black dog –
thought; you were excited for your find
I left you behind. I’m sorry.
She took the skull between her teeth
and cracked it. From the cavity,
the night came flowing back…

Two Poems

Sillhouette

The sun makes silent
all the small planets
of inner orbits
and we only hear –
when they pass in front;

The stars have planets
which tug the belly
of their nuclear
mass explosion – soft
but more than enough;

In the lower tones,
of the dawn rise – there
the small star, has grace
for one still moment –
in the day soon lost;

The world compels us.
We are charred by void
when its emptiness
eclipses ours – but
soft glow the small stars.

Memory of Florida (Helplessness Blues)

What I used to be, and now
what I am, as we drive down
motorways through forest mass
listening closely with my voice
align like an eclipse moon
and the past blooms in present
rapture – I love this album

Old as I get, I will not
forget the forest drifting
drowsily past the window
this rain sifting tambourine –
And damp strung up on song lines
for this perfect alignment
in time and of void cultus.

Us

I

you bite your nails outside
the coffee house – you sit
next to me your perfume
hums through me like a bird
flock sat on my black wires
your hair curls up – I look

deep into its spiral
I sit – across from you
you eat sweets – your tongue floats
on my pool like tadpoles
gulp it – each time you change
my want for you goes on

II

god If all I could eat
were the crumbs from your mouth
That fall, I would rejoice,
And survive, I swear it
A diet of your voice.
If it were my only,

choice, my only choice
to be smashed by your car –
the car of your body…
I would giggle loudly
as I registered each
sacred injury’s pulse.

III

What can I say? I feel
Like the anti-cactus.
Your clothes might as well be
vanished along with all
your skin and bones and me
for all the attention

I give them, your language
just the tongue, floats, hovers
still in the centre of
clearings in woods by nests
warms nests, damp nests, we talk.
The city crawls with us

God Sat Brooding

fixing her eyes into the void.
She was eating –
though without need –
a bowl of noodles.
When she sucked a last
noodle in, another
universe flicked off the end.
And she sat quite perplexed
at what to do with the mess.
There were so many
little nebulous drops
sparkling in the depths
she decided not to bother
with a cleanup

Wetherby Road

The wood gate is crisp
driftwood’s dry mirror –
and the church behind
is the rock upon
which the waves crash hard.

This hubbub decries –
with the tree’s creaking –
those who seek a peace.
Really there is no
well chiselled message;

In the graveyard hear
soft undefined hums
of voice and organ
mixing in hollows –
hear wind whistle through.

Hear your insecure
thoughts tapping upon
the stained glass dust – hear
choral doom and then
lays of the bright voice;

continuity
in time’s long empire
has brought the air here
and the soft water
and me

Two Poems

Crowd

The vast pack turns now – howls
it echoes in the dark
locks of the valley cliffs
The whole hive mind stiffens –
an enemy appears
and soon becomes shadow.

The light of the howlers
is a dim-burning light
not hot like communion –
cold; cold as hill mist tears
that graze clean the day’s grime
From forgotten arches

Running silently through
damp places on the hill
Babbling under black clouds
And devouring, slowly
At first, skin from your flesh
And then, thoughts from your brain

Sun Worship

And as poetry dies a death
or is reborn – which is
the same, until it isn’t
And the sunlight takes on a sharpness
And the world begins again to end
quite unlike a mint falling to the floor
and breaking
cleanly in two upon the tiles
and the sheerness of thought stacks
so steeply –
Did not a roman slave walk
the dry paths of this split-cream coast
Does not this man hang such
washing as has never been bettered
in the warm air
Does not the mother walk a beach
as her dog exacts nothing from
the sea
as slow the waves pull down the coast
and the sun’s fog blurs horizons
and a thousand small discomforts –
there is still much to do
even on last days, which may fade
walking through a sliding glass door
as if to return shortly
but never returning (all this
in the sun)

Here, look up through the parasol
at the sun encased in black fabric
does this seem gaudy to you?
The prehistoric stands on a cliff
watching those same horizons
as the birdcalls change.
Ask for help from the sky-trails
as they spread into the blue.
Note the ferocious beautiful
of sun-flares falling on a city
But note you may be thrown off the bus
by those who don’t understand
that a flower can exist in a wasteland.
Place your hands often on
warm heads of hair –
Cope like this – in sunlit ripples
on some body of water
some body of air