He swings his axe
to fell a tree
to fashion the wood
into a handle
for his axe.
Welcome to the world of bright ideas,
of anti-gravity for beginners,
where each self supporting argument
is a modern Midgard serpent.
The telephone once held you in its coils,
wrapped endlessly round the small bones
of your inner ear. Now, there is music
everywhere and you dance on the Titanic's deck.
In a simpler time, it made a kind of sense:
When there was an Empire outside Hackney
and God practiced polygamy in convents;
but a pretty girl is like a malady.
Oh rose, are you anaemic white,
or flushed red with the fevered bloom of romance?
He casts his bread
upon the waters
and is mobbed
not quite one thousandfold.
I see you 'neath the trellis arch
in a blizzard of your petals.
It was never captured in a photograph,
so the moment is ephemeral.
Working backwards down the path
with an old broom. You do not wonder
where the stones come from, nor why
the dust cannot be fully swept away.
You fill a watering can from the old
tin bath and give the tomato plants
in the greenhouse a good soaking.
This was the site of a chicken coop:
Once, you fed them by breaking
their own eggs. You knew no better.
His hands do no dishes
and feel soft
on her face,
but smell of mild
So, say goodbye to the black and white
chubby faced version of yourself
who knew nothing of romance,
while framing each moment as a portrait.
Return to the jibber-jabber
baby talk realm of the Modernist
view: All rounded corners and glass,
through which you thought you saw so clearly.
You should not have opened the boxes
or torn the wrapping paper. So much
is lost beneath your fingerprints.
And you can love someone to death.
There is an image of a runny yolk
in which you stubbed your cigarette.
He is a king
with a greasy spoon
for a sceptre,
from your mouth.
You take what should be ordinary
and dick around with memory
to create alternate history
where truth lies on the periphery.
Maybe you are spelling it out
a bit too much. Just show me
what matters - if anything -
and I will make that journey with you.
There is a time when writing ceases
to be poetry; but the verse continues,
so long as there is something
to record and you can find the words.
Somewhere along the line, you ceased
to be me and the poet was set free.
He closes the book,
which reads like
an extended suicide note,
a bedtime story.