Monthly Archives: January 2014

Foreshortening

When you break it down it’s
A man shaking an angry fist at
A godless sky whilst holding a
Poultice to his cheekbone with
The other hand
As someone who realised
Recently that time is finite I’ve
Been having trouble holding onto
Anything other than an unshakeable
Belief in oblivion
My eyes blink at the uncovered
60 watt bulb spewing light on the doc’s
Certificates and there’s a red book sat
Congruously open on the desk so
I tell him my shit
He tells me of the importance of cause
And effect and how only I can exact
My destiny and it’s written here in his
Book that he tries to hawk to me at less
Than suggested retail price
So I ride the bus three blocks until
I see the florist lady with her
Bunches of bright whatever
They are and then I get off and
Walk the rest
Stuff the bouquet through your
Letterbox with a note attached that
Expresses undying regret that I couldn’t
Have said sorry when it would have made
A difference to you
Then I’m like The Boss with a
Neutral coloured beanie and five days
Growth stuck on my face walking past
Some old shanty town there murmuring
About my loss

Poem for Lefty

You started to list your favourite baseball players of all time
About half of them are called Lefty or Willie, or were I should say
No doubt they are all buried now, but I wonder
If one of these Leftys pitched the ball all southpaw, did he open bottles like that,
did he sign autographs like that, did he sweep the yard like that?
Was he pure lefty, or cross-dominant, a neat little twist of fate?
He could see in his peripheral vision, bases and runners that others could not see
but did it cause him problems outside of the diamond?
Did they have left-handed scissors a hundred years ago, or was he foiled when faced with a coupon to cut out, the result all jagged, torn and irredeemable?
Yet it was this capriciousness that granted him eternal life in Cooperstown, sealed his greatness
He could afford to have people open his bottles, sign his name and sweep his yard.
Now he’s sat up amongst the clouds, with Gentleman Jim and Frankie Albert, at God’s left hand

Bethel

Beneath the sky all stroppy
and smeared in white
beard chopping into the wind
sturdy against the night, a figurehead
he sniffs the closing air

inside these walls I pray
this place on the shoreline
fifty feet back and one day
to be claimed not by some tempest
but by nature’s ritual attrition

the small red book flakes
its gold leaf into the cracks
on my hands, a little unsteady
the pages smell of a lifetime in boats
some days a gentle steed
on a mill pond, but other times you are
clinging to timber and grabbing thin air
riding the desperate rodeo of the sea

if He controls the sea
then bring them home safe
bring them home safe

and deliver them with bounty
a hessian sack filled up with gifts
nets with fish, a toy boat, blue
that falls through young fingers
like a vessel through a mess of waves
chucking them high and emptying the wee boat
onto another crest, bouncing and blustered
as a fly brushed, merely displaced

and deliver with stories
of a leviathan that chased and chomped paint
Michael, below deck stumbling, his head
bumped and bloodied on the low timber
maybe the storm did that, made him so
he could not stand, or maybe it was the warm whisky
the juice that makes him so brave
that he cannot remember that fearful monster

so now they are steady, gathering
the catch, stolen from the sea
looking from my porthole square I see
a small light peak, coast and fall
the interminable waters grudgingly return them
so I put back the book, unread
in the scuffed wooden drawer
pull up my hood and go to meet them