for Douglas Oliver
A passage through the tearducts, quiet
and complacent, skirts the bedrock of dead calm.
The jerks become a soothing, and the
knife's expense is overflow to jittery,
jaded hunches. Clean motive: the gravel
stains after the gash, I'm curious to see,
dazzled by determined eyes. It all
contracts, to ruck within a little bubble,
status accused, tentative foresight on alert.
Holding the knife rigid a pneumatic drill a
cloying way through at present thinned
clinging, frenetic and tremulous she
walks thigh-tall black boots, yellow jacket she
buzzes and stoops appears to let fall her hair
suffers line interference, she blurs. . .
apparently the victim looks up agonized and knows
traditionally her gape is open the rush of this
scenic past time she gains
a little on her stocks and gilts, by simple entry
that this, of the grid of threat and dicey joy;
When it comes to confrontation, the whole street
isn't ready. Talk, as you smile while
the point is sheathed, banter, without
feeling for the seatbelt. Already a blaring ache
powders the temples. Toes on floorboards,
the uninsured stranger enters – nothing is displaced.
The room is curvy, melting
behind the struts of attention, and she
looses herself, hardly held at all, which in fact
becomes submission. All is so routine, for now,
despite (in terms of seconds) no evasion. Come in,
I can now hear your voice, and the apprehended signals,
previous of pain.
This is all seen
in bloodshot eyes. The strings hold money
over bullseye. She recognises the mistake
I saw it, and the stasis it devolved to –
cheap and clanging, a jagged
station lapsing out of rigid. I cannot
stretch behind it, your figure comes –
and then collapses all the time no, but
in this time, back in the network
the slash is screened, and then deferred for later.
(Later she checks and fumbles, caught in an
askance howl as if I'd slapped her. It's all
ugly, but my own reserve is ugliest of all.
hot weather, and exhausted the tyre moist
a hazy filament outside a dark clammy
cavern maroon stitches itch
gnats at eye level wrinkled
mostly closed, and bruising bawls for belief,
throughout the long waiting this once
the lowest hauls on upward drilling through
clawing the skull aches
the corps is shaken she lies out
the whole race becomes curious
Unfortunately, we all came down hard. What
are we doing? we shied away
and this leather mask and pissing on your flesh
skies into birdland, that cross and the liquidity
of dreams and will not burst
an ectoplasmic skein a plastic
surgery white, white room
a clean man, barrier of glass
splayed. . .
Then exhausted, and then glad. The key revolves,
re-pulses. It drips. Pre-med, green and assured.
There's a lot to recoup. There's the star,
the joyful wound, playing with baubles
the short burst, teasing hey there!
you stare at me through Marilyn Monroe
we are all over the place and pleased
to be compacted by convention, to the one
and lady, don't that ever show you off !
Coming around then, flicking the lighter
their bigwig action already started
not warlike at all, John, not
at all clicking eventually
into place, perfect
eventually, seeing 'em all munch their Special K
and, scrawny as you're wide-eyed –
dripping into the warm ripe takeover,
"imagine your veins a river, your sinews
rifts of ore"
in fact I still fancy
this damn woman, slim compact buttocks
this wavy blonde
relax, will you,
she's squirming unselfconsciously for once
"driving the car, and / all of us in it"
your concern at heart, risks
haemorrhage of the contused victim,
(a long time in the harm network)
inputs on the road, standing and taking
all your lumps
In this travelogue
I see your scarred face, and am blistered to
contempt, which sheds into its own dis-
ease. Sparrows thump the shelving of the outhouse,
your white gown sits you up.
You still cannot see.
When it goes it
just dissolves and I am with you. The call
through the claxon is deep and redundant,
there is no money turns us down at odds.
I don't recall these ugly rumours – they
steal from me when I'm away, they disown
a whole existence. Both again in transit.
Sickening: I am dumb in this stasis.
When I am still drunk the mummified version staggers,
but won't exit. The piston is ornamental
on the mantel, rings bereft of fingers, and
smashed too. These are the trophies.
Avenues of the cut.
Hard on the eaves, pressed in by birds,
the language stands munificent for her,
"I will not fall". What has she gained?
we're still searching for a collection, the
keloid scarlets all lose face,
and the pure intent becomes muggy.
It will alter and merge for her. It rings
in my brain, the signal announcement.
Her show, her might.
The lights at amber
with the exit blocked; I feel I'll risk
proximity to death to haul you back,
your guts rearranged, determination threatened.
Jangling the car keys, have they caught him,
tree-lined routes dissolve at the edges
of a pre-determined dream. I know
what I'd do, but I don't, and can't
proceed as normal. Surveying the walls and roof,
its soundness rebounds off the new partition
in the back room. We all hear nothing.
I thought I saw a sun stab its light
at her pillow. It's a long time to risk
this tense muscularity, your neck's veins obtrude:
the action / the activity / holding the breath / it's all
estranged / like the green of buses you come home to /
making the moment difficult / release, you'll
remember: try again, it's my job
When you're out on a limb
taking the waters is such a challenge
respect the morning
going off to shave,
inexplicably this is all very different
I thought I thought of this stab. Coming in
between the bars framing a sentence
you try to concentrate on these simplicities. . .
and relatives swoop to announce
you've got it all sewn up –
and while we recoup we are all gyrating
though I feel no new fear.
Quite jauntily, over the grass, it is
in the churches garden, and love
is, where we are going,
we meet Jeremy "and it all turns out fine",
like the last reel,
we all agree to co-operate,
all tensed up with our healthy
this stroll obtains a long time
it takes guts for a course of self-deception
you are with me now, and it is nearly over;
Grip of the vulnerable; we were partying last week –
I'm damn well going to stare you in the face –
Marching into the tube. Taking the tunnel.
You are in control again.
Now all I do is collapse. And wait
for your picture. I'm harmful and astounded
at my promise, it won't come back again.
Go off for a coffee. I turn the light on. 40 watts.
Copyright Chris Hunt 1980