• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 10
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Mars

Open the window to the width of yourself and face out.
It’s so close, and you watch it all night, all summer, how it circles and fathoms you.
You are prone to it, the gap unhindered, could touch it had you the reach.
It presses at your skin, divining fury, even love.
In the mornings you undress and rehearse it with paler light, the near wail of swifts.
You hear whole forests are on fire, and you feel them now.

1

Zeno’s Arrow

Here, in the middle, which is perhaps the start or the end, there is a notion.

If only the eye could stand above, hitched to the hawk as it cuts the air on its widening gyre, then the way out – or perhaps in – might be revealed.

There’s a wisdom in circles. Something ancient that exposes the absurdity of a suit and tie, that traces the unbroken curve between information and knowledge. The arrow loosed to fall forever towards its mark, the archer forgotten.

The notion does not hold. No matter how high the eye might climb, it is drawn back to here: the middle, where movement never started and will never end.

A thrumming shift in the soul’s blood; something understood.

2

Blot

The bones of your face are softening as you recede in the distance. Chin dropping into your neck. Eyes blurring together, the bend of your nose joining your mouth till your face is as smooth as a thumb. I could recognise you just by your walk, by the shock of your hair and the weight of your bag over one shoulder leaning your gait. Soon these too will be unknowable. In the sea of humans, you will be one more shape. Face blotted out against the sun.

Once, your face blurred from being close to mine. The white sheets, too near to see both your eyes. Sunlight blurring my vision. Your lips making unseen advances on mine. Our noses drawn together like a line drawing of a vase. People do this kind of seeing with their eyes closed, with their hands moving over each other’s skins.

And the patient grip of your thumb, printed now on my hip.

3

Brick by Brick

We built this city
its walls and gullies
its red and blue barrios
abandoned storefronts
narrow alleys barricaded
precincts and armories
potholed one-way streets
besieged redbrick schools
houses for sale homes
awaiting demolition
bars churches city parks
a sock ground into the dirt
a canvas shoe laces broken
a rusty swing comes and goes
to the silence of past laughter

We built this city
handicap parking outside
starfish malls factory outlets
close-out-sale banners
sun bleached logos billow
over JCPenney and Sears
memories of Woolworth
Levitz Furniture A&P
B. Dalton Toys R Us
Mr. Movies Sam Goody

Read more >
4

Feeble Attempt

Your mind,
a congruence of aberrant thoughts
a serendipitous convergence,
you try so fervently
to carve your own niche
your own identity
in this cesspool of clones
floating for eons
from here to nothing

Your face,
a stark reflection of the
blatant reality
where everyone is trying to be unique
like the blueprint
or the map carved out by the
swirls of their
thumbs pressed on paper
you believe yours is unique
don't you?

Your voice
trying to break the cacophony
in that tumultuous mind of yours
a silhouette of silence,
Read more >

5

Hypnotrophic

Blank faces staring back
From a vortex of cranial vacancy.
Whorls of words drip and drip while
They trip the light fantastic.
The quick step. The two-step. A goose-step.
Placating the plastic personas
And vacating accountability,
As the shadow puppets play
On the walls and pray to gods
Created in their pompous ascension.
Now I wake me from deep sleep
To creep along a road too steep
And shake off the last vestige
Of their soulless, seductive soliloquy.

6

Graffiti Magritte

whorled –
a face replaced
by candy
lollipop licked
grinning from ear to ear
untraceable
Duchamp-able
surrealist uncle
brick stuck thick
perhaps you were too quick
to insult the artist
and now your hat
has been taken
and reframed
anonymously
by hypnotic head
pinned to dust wall
toxically shocked
reduced to a thumbprint
unrecognisable still

7

Wall

They watched us — when we walked beneath the wall, when we scaled it and looked out over the top at what we told the children was somewhere they mustn’t go, and where, when you were old enough, you looked with an empty feeling, a sudden feeling, that turned over in you before you looked away. At night, street lights cast a pale light that picked out the camera lenses’ white glass eyes. In the day the cameras were less sinister, but the eyes of the men themselves followed you now, with those pupils like bullet holes, as you walked to work, as you walked down the road with your thoughts, or with the thoughts of someone you’d just met and wanted no one else to know. The red spirals appeared overnight as if by a grand illusion — no one knew who, or how — blotting out first a mouth, then an eye, then two, not the whole face, not at first, and we used to walk beneath the wall, feeling afraid that they would know we were pleased that their eyes and their mouths had been blotted out. And then for one glorious period, a week perhaps, maybe two, the whole faces were painted over with those beautiful red spirals — silenced, blinded, struck dumb — and we walked through the streets talking, thinking, and looking like we never had before and haven’t since.

8

Whorl, Whirl, Whirlpool

At first, I smugly thought the lines
were the whorls of my thumbprint.
my imprint upon your features—
you who blended so easily
Into the wall of my existence.
Then, examining more closely,
I realized the pattern detected
was the whirl of that
“Mystic Hypnotizing Trick”
toy you carry in your pocket.
Whirling, whirling, you press
until it covers your face, and become
a whirlpool slowly
drawing me into
your depths, your darkness—
deeper than I really want to go,
drowning me in you.

9

Love For The First Time

Washing machines are running at the same time, but I am alone in launderette. The motors of each machine growl and wash the human shaped objects which are losing their subjects.

LOVE MUSIC

In the dryer, the logo of T-shirt is dancing...

RIO QUENTE! GORGEOUS SPA!

In the next dryer, colourful pareo is cooling down the heat source of magma.

It is a hot day today. Shaking at full power to blow away sweat, the black suit himself enters the dryer. He has no face.

― Oh, check for coins and cards in your pocket. Poster on the wall says so.

I urge the black suit to pay attention.

― I have no chicken feed.

From the quiet dryer, he is only bluffing.

― I have appeared in James Bond films. Also I stood on the stage of The Blues Brothers. But I am a suit. It was Sean Connery who was operating Aston Martin DB5s, it was Dan Aykroyd who was playing the harmonica. Understand? A suit without a subject is just a container. Or, cargo. Cargo carrying the brain which is in thought.

In the quiet dryer, he speaks in muted voice.

Read more >
10

a petal named control

we thought so fervently about love,
                            about trust, we hoped
for so much. and whilst for some, we didn't hope
for enough. for others, we hoped
for too much.

all these thoughts fall with such
quiet simplicity.

a petal
on the edge of winter       we are.

there was no fighting
the snow or crying summer
back into our lives.

there were amicable realisations,
to let the world give us a course
and find the wisdom within us
to follow it.       adapt accordingly.

because trying to fit
a square into a circle was a tired religion.

and at least here we find peace, breathe again,
blow control to the wind
                                             as if
                                                         it had been ours.

11

Things My Mother Left Behind

You left your thumbprint behind my eye,
strands of fate woven by your desperation
to keep the pieces of your life glued together.
You left your imprint in the shape of my hands,
the machinations of my mind and the words
that deftly escape the confines of my mouth.
You left your fingerprints on my childhood,
torn at the seams by genetic predisposition,
the gradual fading of laughter into the sun.
You left your boot print in the pit of my throat,
plucked my voice out with your disappearing act
and left me on the pavement to mend my own wounds

12

banquet of rings

this
body persists tonguing
from behind

this
banquet of rings
punctuated by the habit of living

this
open muted yell, sick as secrets,
ever sinking into place

like buttons over the clatter of dice
in a cup with spiral thin necessity

this
trauma in exile
pressed molded anchored
sybaritic urgency to just spit
in a straight line

this
triumph over distance

13

Spiral Of Doubt

'That friendly guy off BBC Business, Ben...?
No way, it's definitely Jimmy Carr – ears!
Both wrong, woman in drag, smooth skin
Who, then, who?! – Female with big ears?
Jo Caulfield, Fringe stand-up, writer; hair dye
Nah! – Could be a rugby player?/Nice ears?!
Running back or a winger, not forward bruiser;
I'll go for Gavin Hastings, old picture/Nae way!
Good fingerprint spirals, anyway, which reminds me;
When's final series of superior crime drama 'Spiral' –
One with Gilou, Tintin, Laure Berthaud – on BBC4?'

14

Press Home to Unlock

You don’t know me.

You see a suit
and a tie
and invent, what,
a lawyer?
a trader?

You see a penthouse
with stunning,
panoramic
views of
a bank account
as wide
and endless
as the sprawling city
below.

I might smell of
fast cars,
foreign holidays,
or just a hint of
private jet

and to you
my voice
might be a
mellow blend of
malt whiskey
Read more >

15

Whorls and Striations

Every smile, every kick, every comment
sweet or sour has pressed its print
on you, my snarled-up man, once a lonely child.
It's hard to understand what came from where
and you resist unpicking stitches, poking
scabs and scars and hardened skin, you
prefer containment of your toxins deep within.
There's the rub. When your fingers fist up,
your tongue fires bullets, your face scowls
you print on me, infect my love and leave me
feeling foul. I know you'll grieve now my full stop
has finished our sentence, once and for all. Dear one,
I'd wished for another ending. I stayed too long
in hope but bruises from your thumb prints left me numb
and worse, adroit, fit to perform small cruelties
of my own. I wish you a new life, without punches
given or received, freedom from loveless annihilation.

16

Blurring

Now,
There will be no you.
There will be no me.
Just this moving on.
You left
I stayed.
Our heart is a pendulum of
Backward pasts and forward futures
And we – just moving present entities.
Emptying and filling again
Our empty pitchers of life,
Seeking the flow of water
That will once and for all suffice.
Until then this seeking continues in the search of a flowing stream.
You see, it is infinite
Though you and I are not here
now.
But you and I were here before;
You and I will be here again.

17

FINGERPRINT FACE

Today I saw a picture of a fingerprint face,
And I thought I was Dorian Gray.
My suspicions wouldn’t go away,
Though I tried to laugh off the sight:
“Is his tie on too tight,” I jeered,
“Or did he tie on one too many last night?”

It was more fundamental than that.
He didn’t have eyes,
But he stared at me so hard
From the center of his whorl,
That the world spun out of control.

Vertigo! Falling down, down, down,
From the ivory tower!

He had one black ear and one Caucasian,
Symbolic of the strife that makes the world go ‘round.

I continued to speculate…

Perhaps a vortex had been formed
Between consciousness and its objects—
The two holding together the one,
The one disintegrating into an abyss
That sucks everything into its nothingness?

It is just as though God’s thumb came down
At the moment you started to pray,
Squashing your visage as if it were clay.
Now you can be assured
You are created in His image.

Read more >
18

You died this morning

When I was a child
if someone passed over
we moved in like a blanket to cover
and cover for
the spouse who remained.

For he / she was
knocked out
knocked over
unable to do, think, be.

Pills and sleep,
spoon fed.
This was grief to me.

So I sit here now and ponder
in all our connectivity ... interconnectedness
online
have we become less connected to life
real, true, flesh and blood life?

Our relations and connections offline.
Are they as deeply rooted?
Have we spread ourselves too thin between two dimensions?

It seems now when a spouse is lost
the first thing we do is

upload a photo and write a long text:

"You were my everything ..."

as we sit uncovered at our desk.

Read more >
19

Glamour

Mother had a wall
of photos
of those adored
and famous
and would light
candles to them
and stroke the images
and glare at me,
then a toddler,
beneath them.
You're already so small,
she would say,
but next to this wall
of titans
you seem less
than the dot
at the end of
a sentence.
You seem like the
afterthought
of an atom.
You seem
like the rumor
of a person
long after
he has ceased
being discussed.
Read more >

20

I confess

It is measurably damaging to confess —

I left my prints in the woods.

I am wearing the city, I am wearing the house, I am wearing
the dog, I am wearing my drive-through coffee mug.

I am late.

I confess that, too.

I ride my bicycle to work. I walk to work. I drive to work. I am driven, one way or the other, to work.

I am my Adam’s apple.

I have to confess — there are articles of clothing in the woods. Small piles of them between glacial boulders, hung in oak
and pine trees; edging streams and trickles of streams. They coagulate sometimes as mossy bundles. They belong
to the woods.

I must confess — I am wearing some of these articles of clothing now. They fit like a charm. They support my work.

They support the city and its work. They support walls
with graffiti and tall buildings with construction workers and scaffolding. Urban sewer systems and underground
infrastructure. Transit systems. Street lunches.

They belong to the woods. I confess I have been to the woods.

I left my prints there.

21

A Heist of Sorts

They say that ears are as
unique as fingerprints,
so I’ve committed a crime
using just my ears
to see if they will find me.

My mother always said,
‘You can get away with anything
If you pretend to have the confidence.’
I think she mainly used this to
fake her way into buildings
to use their restrooms.

I’ve been wearing the earrings
every day since I stole them,
walking down city streets,
letting the lights glitz off them,
and they whisper, ‘Isn’t she
beautiful?’ and they whisper,
‘Isn’t she something?’ and
I have never felt less paranoid
or more balanced.

22

Artist in a Suit

He was always inside looking out,
dressed in his smart, dark suit,
the only sign of his humanity
a sorrowful black tie.
Faceless and mute,
he daubed his emotions
in murals of citycapes and skies
painted brick by brick
on public walls all over town,
taming his tremor,
trapped in an Archimedean
spiral of no return.

23

Cherub

"Stand on the footprints. Keep still.
Look into the machine. Do not blink."

The scanner delves you through your retina.
"The eyes are the window to the soul." Yeah, yeah.

Your baby blues, conker browns, vodka shots –
they videoed all your deeds – good and bad.

Except those so bad you had to hold tight,
squeezing shut so not to see them through...

and those when only blissful blindness
could be their proper accompaniment.

The scanner whirrs, retrieves the print of your life
and cross references it with some database.

This then is who you are: capillary swirls –
a barcode pricing your criminal nature.

A fat boy coughs. You never thought Judgement Day
would be so much like entering America.

24

fingerprint

you think you know me
i’m black i’m white asian latinx
muslim catholic hindu buddhist jewish
man woman straight gay bi transgender
young old able-bodied handicapped
you limit identifiers to fit your excel sheets
to keep me from myself
ourselves from ourselves

yes you have your lists your barcodes
social security numbers and signatures
registration forms and passports
footprints fingerprints retinal scans
usernames and birth certificates
customs officers and ICE too
just in case we or I have snuck
into your precious precinct
crossed some arbitrary border
no squirrel or fox or crow
would recognize

but you don’t know me
i’m feral or revert to wild
when i’m cornered
when your henchmen
tally us with gunshots
as we fill the streets
join our hands so different Read more >

25

The Bachelor

Love is to attraction
as a labyrinth is to a maze. A man
of a thousand cul-de-sacs,
the skeletons that never reached
his heart hold plates of pasta,
bags of petrified cookies
just like grandma's. The real
entrance to his core hides
under his hat, and no one's lost
in that mine but the architect himself,
awed by the roses and sky.

26

Autobiography

Down cellar in the old green house
in Amherst Mass, five different
shades of green, I found
a box of someone’s relatives,
swollen with the damp.
Long ago, he moved away,
Thinking to leave behind
All claim to kinship. The sepia
of long-steeped tea, they speak
a century of carefully-recorded births
and deaths: Grandma, white hair
sparked with frost, waits out
winter on the porch. A proud
entrepreneur beside his enterprise,
sign announcing “Pool Table
Sandwiches.” Yet even as these
details stand the seep of winter
and the summer storm, I see
someone has quite deliberately
de-faced these stout progenitors.
More shocking somehow than a skull,
their faces now a slur of white
marked only with the print of one
damp thumb. Despite the clear desire
to blot out everything, this unwilling
heir has left his portrait among theirs.
Beyond the power to deny, DNA’s
spiral calligraphy scrolls through his veins.
This scion—ambivalent, anonymous,
loses nothing in the move.

27

Cheating the Tide

It usually starts like this, having lost control again, Joy Division percussion rattling inside his skull. The suit holds him up, a suit of armour, which in theory should be heavy and claustrophobic but luckily, it isn’t. He starches his clothes (shirt collars in particular), a remnant from a previous century, and the stiffness which this ritual brings acts as an iron lung. Breathe, in and out, another ritual which is absolutely necessary in order to cheat the tide. It’s impossible to master it, but he has become accustomed to cheating (other people, the law, death) now that he has joined this underworld of villainy.

All it took was an unremarkable face. His, the sort of face possessed by countless administration assistants and bank clerks and insurance salesman. Nothing exceptionally ugly or exceptionally beautiful. Just a face, with two eyes, one nose, one mouth, and everything the expected palette of beige-pink-brown. His face was his ancestors’ gift to him, the accumulation of generations of suffered marriages and saintly marriages and sentimental marriages.

See? Nothing out of the ordinary.

He has to reconstruct his face during these episodes, gaining perspective on the world which has become a teeming mass of pursed lips and jug-like ears. The first step is to adjust his breathing, the second is to select the most unremarkable features in order to build the image he seeks. He is the corporeal Mr Potato Head, centring himself and finding his nose. The third step is to stop panicking and pull your knickers up, man. There is a time and place for feelings like these. It doesn’t matter that you’ve not found that time or place, doesn’t matter that there isn’t one.

[Sorry, I’ve got a panic attack scheduled for half past two, couldn’t you wait?]

Read more >
28

Stuck In Amygdala With You

I became lost in the labyrinth of your mind.

I tried to follow gnomic wisdom to stick your hand against the walls and to keep heading in the same direction. Thus I spiralled right, but your neurons did not fire concentric.

Your synapses snapped in my wake, closing up my escape. I apprehended they were shepherding me towards the medial. The pattern of your brain forged into a target, with me in its sights. A cocooned bug ensnared in the viscid strands of your grey matter.

29

UNOBTAINABLE

Jeremy thought he glimpsed a fifties taxi, runner-board and all, disappearing beyond Saint Anne’s. Curious and depressed, he trudged newly-fallen snow to investigate.
Rounding the chapel wall he scanned the short avenue. It was devoid of traffic. No tracks spoiled the pristine white blanket covering the weary asphalt and paving.
Less a shroud than a cocoon shielding the spent surfaces while they bubbled into new life, the snow seemed to defy the eerie silence. Jeremy felt a passing urge to lay himself down and be reborn without the baggage.
He blinked tears away, blushing in anticipation of onlookers. But there were no eyes to observe – only the grimy windows of the breakfast bar at the corner.
A blonde sat at the window – her sensuous primrose top all but see-through under dull fluorescents. She turned and smiled as he traversed the road and pushed blindly through the saffron-framed door, drawn by a frightening sexual magnetism.
Her smile brightened. A cold hand gripped his heart and he almost collapsed. It was only when a yellow cab pulled up outside the window that his peril dawned on him.
His hands clawed in tortured supplication in her direction before he crashed back through the door and retreated across the street, giving the taxi a wide berth.
From the safety of the chapel wall, cold against his cheek, he swivelled an eye in the direction of the squandered romance. She was blushing furiously and staring dead ahead.
“Bloody xanthophobia,” he moaned into the grouting, before retreating into the shadows of an overhanging laurel, using that cover to escape his failure and drag his feet back to his flat – a box which the lack of love disqualified as a home.
Read more >

30

Threshold

They came, men in black
wearing suits and a rucksack
that didn’t crease their jackets.
They seemed kind, clean–cut,
well-spoken, firm, Mid-Atlantic…
"Meter readers." They were, they said.
And, "Did I want to be read?"
Asked to come in.
Put my head in a spin.

"Hold your hand out…Begin…"

31

A Mask of Mint and Tears

Once told: only the worst things are revealed in static silent symmetry. To fracture is to be rendered invisible and bring an end to the hunt. You are not there yet. There is more work to be done. Please don’t go so soon – you’ve barely begun to know yourself. If you must leave, remember this: one day a walker on paved streets is what you promised us. Wanderers who, at length, desire to be the cracks, be the thing another falls into. Be the bad luck of it all. I beg of you, please, don’t forget that a brick can be more than a cell of a prison wall; it can also be a canvas. Take with you a measure of my peace but keep asking, what will you do when the walls build in around you and the world is left without?

32

A Carbon Fingerprint

They know who I am.
Hairs on my head bristle.
When they are close
They sense fear and humiliation.
I am not like them
and I do not like them.

It’s not that I am special, I’m not.
But refuse to play their games,
kiss and tell, rapo and condemn.

I am lucky still to be myself,
Unusual in this tinsel town?
But you pay with your life.

33

Face Space

Sometimes
he felt like a man with no face,
his face space occupied
by a swirling mist of confusion.
So he had to wait
for it to settle down
to see what emerged,
wait to find his face for that day.
Sometimes
it was exciting,
but only sometimes.
Sometimes
he wished for a blank space
that he could fill himself
with a Magritte apple.
Or maybe a luscious peach
would be self-fulfilling.
Sometimes
he wished he could wear
the same face every day,
wake up with it in place
and know it would stay,
know what he would be
every day.

34

The Photo, No Longer a Replica

That jaw line isn’t you. Those cheekbones are not you.

You corrupted your own structure for validation.

Did you crumble under your own volition, or did the pressure of others strike at you, your face as a tin drum, their eyes a fleet of microscopes sliding you under their lens?

Is your skin really alabaster, or is there just plaster adorning your visage?

Are you still able to smile under the weight of injections?

Do you have any reason to smile, their cameras having left you jaded, anhedonic?

The camera loves this theory of façade, but what love have you have left for yourself?

35

Corporate Enslavement

Conformity
Dress codes
Denied vacations
Overtime
Advancement through marriage to the company
Political correctness
Manicured personalities
Your electronic presence is constantly monitored
Abandonment of individuality
Constant threats of lack of security
The ladder-climbing protagonist
Spending more time tweaking PowerPoint slides than actually working
The offensive brown nose
Human Resources are there to protect the company and not the employee
Please do not let the door hit you in the arse on the way out
You are salaried, rather you are slaveried

36

Leavings

There was a man
no—many men

who touched me
mouthed me ate me.

I swabbed their cheeks
with my tongue.

I see them in my
son and daughter

though they are
not their fathers.

And women, too,
many times over.

Anyone who ever
changed me

has entered me.
I have a gate

with no lock
permeable as the skin

of a cell block.
Molecular as connective

tissue and equally empty.
Stay awhile.

Read more >
37

Anomaly

“The old home town just looks the same”,
I’m happy to tell you – excepting, that is,
your mural. It’s somehow *evolved*. Over night,
it’s said. Your masterwork’s not what it was.

Instead of that quizzical face, there’s this vortex.
Hypnotic thumbprint throbbing through the wall.
Your suit survives. Amazed, a pair of ears,
perhaps tuned into heaven, or the soundtrack from hell –

who knows? Bemused, of course, I stepped
a touch closer and peered like a speculant tourist.
At once the thing hummed into life! How it *whirred*;
I felt my cowardice wisely reassert itself...

It wasn’t the happiest homecoming. Off
I shot, retreating from my waking dream,
bricking up the vision that I’d seen. Our town:
“like a derelict man who has died out of shame...”

(With apologies to Jarvis Cocker)

38

Politics

They peer at me through a lens. They want to confirm if I am who I say I am and imagine that the retina has the final word. Even the technology resting in my hands insists that I trust the lens.

They think my face is my fingerprint.

As if fingerprints are alive and ready with all answers.

I wish this were true. I wish my face had lines going around in circles the way my thoughts do. I wish my thoughts moved either inwards or outwards without ever crisscrossing each other in unknown bizarre ways. I wish life were as simple as an optical illusion that the mind knows and accepts as one. I wish there wasn’t a face with all its ridges, spurs, chasms, and a landscape that changed with the light and the darkness of moments. Then I’d have remained unchanged over the years with just a few measly lines turning grey.

The face, however, is in many ways similar to an iceberg where thoughts deep inside are the real navigators. It is these wily navigators that are responsible for everything from early melting to rapid meltdowns to deliberate surprises in the pitch dark for boats and cruise ships to allowing seals, walruses, penguins and others to pop up on its deck to pose for the paparazzi. An entire cosmos exists right there on the face, as it does on an iceberg. One can see the dance of the universe there only if one wishes to… after all, this is what Krishna showed Arjuna in the Mahabharata, didn’t he?

And yet we sometimes cannot or do not wish to face the face. We hide behind a curtain of inscrutability so we can remain unaccountable. Save all that is unreadable and carefully pin it on. This is all you need to start in the world of politics. This is all that my father said as he thrust a piece of paper towards me to sign. This form, once filled, would launch me as a worker in the political party that he now patronized.

39

Anticlockwise

Isn’t it strange how things unravel anticlockwise in the
night, as if thoughts, blindfolded, spiral homeward into

the past? In the morning, even in the half-glow of dawn,
you can float away from yourself, changing their direction,

the end of the trembling dark clutched tight in your hand,
deliberately unwinding pain through a labyrinth of forced

possibilities. Time, then, is just a cruel trick of the light.
Or maybe, love is. I remember lying on our backs on the

sand, the sky close, beginning at the end of our skin,
stars finding the hollows under our nails, clouds moving

in dextral whorls around a proximate moon. Or maybe we
were just looking at it wrong. Maybe it was day. Maybe it

was us whirling and there was one nebulous cloud in the
centre blurring the sun. Maybe we weren’t next to each

other, a deception of trajectory and distance and touch,
the twisted path a long way to reach an inevitable end.

40

Placental

She drew him on the bricks –
this was her resistance.
Skin had grown up between them by now, the
protective globe of a light bulb
flaring in and flaring out
it was springy to the touch like a
thick sheet of translucent rubber.

Could you have seen his face for the circling?
They like to say, "You can't see the forest for the trees."
But she kept on drawing him here and there
every one a note of resurrection or
candy-striped, placental wishing.

41

No-exit maze

Constant thoughts encircle my mind
Keeping me trapped in a no-exit maze
Walled up from behind
Hypnotic madness from within
A deafening silence ringing in my ears

Trapped
I feel the walls, the barriers closing in
Soon to crush me
Leeching out my brains
Flattening my skull
Like an MRI plate

The blinding spiralling maze
Has smashed
In a deafening crash
Flattening me into the wall
Like a fly
Swatted on a wall

42