The City Moves in Me

Terror swims inside me like a basking shark
It’s my sullen wake, it fills the air behind
As I’m drawn along suburban stone.
I see the wild forgotten as a dream is forgotten
I know I dreamed, but what was it?

I stand on a hill and see the city
Draining down its valley plughole
Soft scars left in the grading air.
I see this city move as a scrapheap moves
Slowly downwards, churning the earth.

Waiting for a bus I wait too long
And my figure, mistaken for a statue
By some routine artist in a tatty book
Is selected for the top of the heap
Which moves, and the wild falls further.

In a shifting forest, in the past beyond thought
A foraging girl picks out an acorn
From a dry skin of leaves, her breath
Marks the air. She leaves it
And the earth hurtles out from beneath.

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response

Oh your voice,
It carries the geology of the tongue
In a startling language
Your saliva and its stones, caught by geographical time
The knot and bark of your swallow
Sussurations of your lips, of fur
Brushing past itself, salted in the night-forest
And your eyes muddy marsh
Sodden in the hills and routes of our conversation
Between moon-dragging planets.

Female, you shake me
Your strata bared by the sandblasting wind
The grass bent, rent and shattered by a foot
That mountain collapses and tectonic plates tear
You gulp in the nothing of my ear.

The Forest

The Tree says “Down! – thee
seeds and sapling usurpers
“I am the root and I the purpose
“Know my bark, it keeps me strong.”
And murders them with shadows long.

The saplings and the seeds chant –
“Up! – up the republic of growth
“Of varied ideas, and new things here below
“Until the wood is filled with variety
“Old bark can stay – but we’ll have our society.”

The forest is filled with kinds of desire
But all must drink – and bathe in the sun
The far spread shadows are death to some
“Until the dark dawn of some great forest fire”

Some hope to spark, to get underway
The falling, the ashes, it tends to gestate
Grand ideas of a sunlit glade
Though dappled light seems the best some can await –

Born as they are with stunted branch
Or lack of structured niche or dance
They tend to fall back on the law of the light –
that when shadow is cast, those in shadow must fight.

Either starving dark amongst the shoots
Or taking as model the climbing vine
Or cutting the old bark down to size
Or grouping and starving the heartless old roots
To scatter light out from the leaves of the few.

What is Historical Materialism (Variation)

The blood runs, and it sings of stolen things
to listen is the trick, its humming in the buried veins.
The flesh sits, marked with silent whips
and its past stays with it, gagged and subterranean.
We mine it, giving the gifts of rhetoric back
to its owners, not asking for excuses, crawling backwards.
We take the work as is, in fact and fiction;
not how it aspires us to be, with moral wishes.

We are not children, although we patiently read
of the childhood of all things, their concrete patents:
the darkness then recedes, and only then
when the light is followed back to its sources and signposts
– and the shadow is marked as shadow (for though it seems)
not all darkness is shadow, and darkness gleams…
It is the physical labour of thinking – it is not heartless.

We are not inhuman, although we may mock them, smirking
and use our long words simply to see them working
in truth we take humanity (this strengthened noun)
of the hold, the gaze of sibling to sibling, to found
as the heat and source of joy, the darkened world.
We find joy in revolution, in the placing of the joy of things
in the centre, tectonic plates driven by its turning…

The banality of joy of the courts, these admins of pleasure
of the commercial laboratory, is of no matter to us.
We are angels who watch closely the wreckage of history
tears in our eyes, but we smile, because we have hope:
history never falls apart, only people do that
and our goal is not to set them on a perfect track
but to allow them to explode with fire as a firework in the night.

Behind us stretches the vanishing future of work,
(the varied and varying plane of opportunity and chance)
where for a moment we will siblize each other, and dance
losing the property of our minds, and giving it to all.
We work by each other, and for each other, learning
and from out of the past of each other, quietly burning.
This is historical materialism.