Outside this plastic-smell car
the rain whirls like a muscle
set off wonderfully, fine
brighted by the too-sharp lamps
in windy spasms of curve
and softens my face, cooling
I feel life has been jammed
like a filament burning
too hot to shed much lighter
than a dark emphasising
fizz and sticky resistance –
the rain and cold air soften
The car steams up, it’s human
my friends are drunk, I listen
to their lubricate jaw joints
It is strange and wonderful
music to hear them talk, now
In the dark roadway, I hang
I hang as the world unfurls
its scoreboard display signposts
a smashed out car, black wreckage
My throat twitches with a cold
surge, we fly home fast as time
I exit and crush a snail
sigh, the paths are full of them.
Music credit to Ben Salisbury & Geoff Barrow for ‘Ava’
Man stands against the boiling ocean of the possible
Silhouetted by a setting sun – striding
Out into the deep to be destroyed.
He could not keep the truth without dissolving:
A lone skeleton falls apart in the tides
And – drawn to the depths of darkness – this
Pile of white bones dances down – into the abyss.
But not this man, no, this man keeps
To bed clutching scribe’s accoutrements
Projecting a personality of dense defiance
He poeticises wildly in the throes of music
Waxing prophetic on the coming task of men
Struggling in pain to focus, but he knows.
He just can’t seem to formulate the premises in his prose.
Squinting in his nest, his moustache moist, and murmering
About the grand transcendence of the dark,
His mother brings him tea – his rough blanket
Covered in yesterdays crumbs and ink accidents,
Warms on his knees – the will to digestion crowing.
He takes his meagre meal, curses her and even
As she makes matrimonial suggestions, ressentiment quickens his breathing.
‘Woman is weak’ – he spits his damp crumbs wildly
Glaring at the matronly sign and signal
Of his own pathetic nature – he turns aside
Back to constant scribbling – by which he’ll teach
The world its wholly meagre worth in silence:
By embalming modern insights in his head
With half-learned scraps of Darwin from the papers, he will tread
Alone into the deep – and this destiny has said.
He has no one to go with him, not a single friend.
And rather than put this down to his unpleasant selfish manner
(A reason that never occurred to him) he sees his path and hammer
As the wind’s lonely self-justifying answer to the void.