V.76

God will save you from this event
and here is how – she will give you
an soft egg, a beautiful egg.
Last one in the supermarket

cracked on the sun-baked shelf. And meat
reams and reams of gently rotting
meat in plastic packets. She wills
the whole toilet industry act,

to provide you with something clean
and needed to deck the cistern.
The power she weilds provides you
cans of sharp green beer, to last out.

And then, just in case, everyday
God in her grace provides to you
in the form of a pub, out there
in the garden, your salvation.

The pandemic will now return
all your neuroses in new forms,
stronger forms, forms like journalists,
videos of ventilators.

The fear of death will wipe you out
courtesy of God herself, show
you the emptiness of requests.
And then, silence. Your miracle.

V.75

When mercury was first designed,
it was as a lesson. Silver
and undulant like nothing else,
disguised as a solid jewel

Have you ever spilled it? It’s like
letting out a secret, unthought
and feeling the moral landscape
shift and set snare traps in your gut.

It’s fractal til it disappears,
like the ramifications of
any action. It rolls across
the surfaces with great interest.

It’s vapours send us mad, and fish
become mercurial in this
disregard they have of our minds.
To be quite fair, who could blame them.

In landfill sites across the world
it falls, year after year, into
the sources of our deepest fear.
Our breath stutters at its slick thought.

‘This is a tricky thing’ they said.
Listing it on the slate of things –
alongside sex, and time, and dreams,
and cave paintings, and tv

On Death Note (Spoilers)

I

Why, shinigami – you are sending L around the damn bend
he can’t see you – realm of the gods of death.

Things are going mad – the laws of death spin in a great car crash
of contingency – unending pile-up.

How were you to know – thinking you were bright – but god-of-death-dark
sinks petty brain glow in the deep, red, eyes.

Shinigami – red apple of memory – how death will not be
caught so easily – ‘according to plan’

[x x x x x] [x x x x x] [x x x x x]
[x x x x x] [x x x x x]

J

Careful what you do – cos god is watching your every move –
but why aspire to be gods – when you are one?

I hear the bell – yes unusually – come in out of rain
don’t believe my words. life is nonsense now.

Humans are not truth not perfect – they lie – I have no reasons
I could spell out now – I just know you are

Diabolical. I wash your feet – you who I know will end
this life – I will die but I will win – how?

I resurrect now in the sympathy, absolute, I have
with the life process which will avenge me.

K

I cry over my own funeral when – bored and walking home –
there is no device with a battery.

I imagine all tears, fallen and sounds in the dark chapel
of my grandma’s church. My grandpa cries too.

I hate death more than I hate any evil – for it underpins
all evil with means – with time, wrongs would end.

Empathy in a pathetic empty soul, glories in the
image of honour, in lieu of acting.

It’s when light kills L – he shows his weakness. True gods spurn revenge.
In Light, good’s hollow echoes, emptily.

L [You will pay for what you’ve done]

The absence of law as concept from the series of Death Note
vitiates Light’s view – Nature of justice

being an absent thing signifying, thus the complete eclipse
of morality in puritan sin.

The haute bourgeoisie reign supreme in realms of life and sharp-death;
a new god is, well, on the up and up.

This god is the class of young male and rich with supernature
on their side via writings of pure name;

a tall beurocrat of the spirit realm – if you break his line,
the line twists around – and tantrums hang you.

V.74 Response to ‘Dreaming of a Butterfly’ by Sakutaro Hagiwara

Justo Judicio Dei
condemnatus sum. I dream that –
due to some sin I am sprawled out
on a sofa, weighed down by wings.

I have been turned into a large
butterfly, whose wings were not meant
to be so large, and now crumble,
leaving pearlescent blue-green shards.

Rain recedes against the window
or, more likely, just a grey sky.
“SHOULDN’T YOU BE AT WORK, MY GOD” –
the knocking on the door won’t stop –

The sigil daubed there has not helped.
I must drag myself leaving trails
of mother of pearl to and from
the door. In my dreams trains crashing

roll across the fields, crumpling up
like a broken display case. See
the big pin through my insect heart?
Why do I feel it’s all my fault?

Then Enya’s voice, like a soft hand
is firm and raises my head up –
there is a council yet to hold,
a voice that all this strife can end

Ships and Stars IV – Alter

Precisely seven suns fall into a bright studded ring and orbit in a long dance. Some loner catapults through the bullseye – its a hard trick but you have to impress all the space lovers some bright way –

why not that? Or gain some time by close orbit to the black. They said you were too old – well how about now, years in days. If you cut a black hole clean into two it behaves like a worm and grows thick and full

again. My world is half sea and half mirrors – it is hard to notice as it barrels around you, floating darkness unless for one small moment you notice the eye open, as it reflects my home sun

and it simply stumps gazers as they scrabble to note it – but by then the new star’s gone. My star is so bright you must wear sunglasses in the dark. My star is sentient – and sings we note, one long, clear, beam

V.73

I hear the year’s first owl, I see
the summer evenings of wide eyes
come to me, hot on the covers.
I smell and hear the summer come

in dark night at spring’s beginning.
In the parks, people can perform
their social media, can get
the right light, and the right shot done

with the intermittent flash thing
on a stick. Or take photos of
nature, such as it is, confined
within the bounds of the black fence.

The crown-bearer virus is swept
basculating into the rare
and transformative air of the
space between minds, within the park

It propagates everywhere now,
’til every object collapses
into a simulacra full
of small and spherical crystals

They are spraying from the fountain
They are clinging to your damp hands
If you listen you can hear it
their small and terrible prayer

Game Point

“Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down” – Robert Frost

Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down, in the rain, on an aircraft carrier, as experimental jets launch fireworks into space above you

Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down, on an aircraft carrier that was sunk in 2004 off the coast of Florida to form the basis of a coral reef, and losing with grace

Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down, on an aircraft carrier in a pop-up cross-section book, and accidentally slipping off the edge and falling into the cardboard sea

Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down, loose in fact, when it begins to move, blown by the air off the edge, over the sea, until it crests a wave then slowly sinks to join millions of bones on the seafloor

Writing free verse is like playing tennis, but it’s not tennis, you’re holding a pen, and you try and hit the ball but it just sticks on the end of the pen and ink dribbles down your arm to the white flagstones

Writing poetry is like playing tennis with the net down but with the net up