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
for its rosy light of six in the morning,
a cut-out with ransom in his eyes,
in his smile, handing out election leaflets,
a swayer in the rain with a bottle,
banging on the door for an empty wife,
a shape fogged outside my living room window,
coloured like funeral gravel.
An eater of minutes, a gila monster,
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,
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
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
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.