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Bleak Meridians, Neighbours, Church of the New Fit

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Bleak Meridians

I come from Nowhere, yet.

Not this place, a concept

like so many others, where

dreams colour to breezing rags

and fools climb ladders, winking

secrets, buried ties to unsaid laws

pledged in air, pinched shirking bitter

folk clawing at land like pewter,

yearning basted with fixed numbers.

A nerveless sleight of hand grabbing

like a fallen lunacy you never

get away from, its pace of

mutters, glances, daubed resentments.

This island that vanishes its best,

leaving husks like reavers beholden

to all outside it, kept true to grudges.

This place of static weathers, its children

grown barren, its towns dulled and empty.

Its true face like a shroud on a body, left

to fall away, everywhere, forever.


Are a throat that sat in a grove of

nodding bongos

for its rosy light of six in the morning,

a cut-out with ransom in his eyes,

cold blood

in his smile, handing out election leaflets,

a swayer in the rain with a bottle,

empty suitcase

banging on the door for an empty wife,

a shape fogged outside my living room window,

hands, eyes,

coloured like funeral gravel.

An eater of minutes, a gila monster,

bloated, thrumming,

waiting with a sleeping poison.


he shuffles across my ceiling,

an occasional rumbling foot

or voice of muffle,

like a storm in the hills.

Part of the world’s noise,

yet nothing more.

Church of the New Fit

We move among you, unseen.

Coughing from fifty yards away,

every cigarette lit solely

to alarm us,

our toned, solipsistic

lurches, wagging fingers

where kindness sleeps, while

smugness pitches up.

You might glimpse us grunting

in cycling shorts, molesting ourselves

for a pulse. Pointless distances

are serious business,

pressed backwards

into morning jogs, a torturer’s

rack of instructive gadgets,

every frantic twitch

our reality, made clear

by sighing rage, in your

standing there, we lost

twenty seconds of time.

Every counted step moves

us amongst the blessed,

our lives handed over to

sacramental powders,

treadmills, weighted hours,

joyless eyes caught in yellow

evening light panting a treaty

of seconds behind glass, mirrors

to set a circuit of taking

us out of ourselves, then

back in again. Our sweaty

towels like cassocks,

each muscle collated,

examined for percentiles

of change, flagellation

as personal growth.

A scheme, like all faiths,

to cast cold eyes, judging

worth and moral probity

by gallons of shed sweat,

this searching effort for

new ways to run from things.

Frantic motion against empty

answers, the world’s noise

shutting out murmued notions

that night’s sky, unresponsive,

wheels in simple indifference

to purpose, and muted deities.

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