Clean yellow

Clean yellow nut-jar table-leg

“You cannot put a dirty dish
Into a stack of clean ones”

Palladin El Paso
I wouldn’t accept cash to feed Nikki

Magazine El Paso

Sometime in the darkness just after dreaming I wake up with a string of words in my mind so I try to write them down

Out of a black hole comes a new star

The demons like rocking
Never in the fields get sunk again

I Was a Teenage Sowing Machine

I was a teenage sowing machine
I lay dying under a mangled iron bridge
The Prime Minister was a dotted line down the middle of the road
Mark the Herald angel crowed bantam cock in titanium orange glow of overseas war

I dropped supermarkets over Vietnam
The old singer-sowing machine emits a scream of silence
I forgot the contents in the TV box and floated on an oil slick

O memory queen merry queen stitch one hack one stitch me two
The playing fields looked at you with eyes like cow’s prunes
Down the middle of the M1, I set beers up like traffic cones
Black umbrellas covered them under that sky less coma

The dust from cremated coffins caked the streets of suburbia
Johnny boy went home wrapped in the black curtains
In the lid of the drain I saw the face of Julius Caesar
The coal miners’ strike came back as a hurricane

The sowing machine appeared in Hyde Park as the Virgin Mary
Inside the case, the bomb squad found a crucifix that scampered away like a mouse
The lawn sprinklers became men with machine guns
And the walls of banks were made with lottery tickets

A little gem lettuce made its first appearance
When virtual reality grew from the horn of a Gargoyle
That jumped over a church with a television crew
To see the past, the present and the future turned away at the door

The talking bird leads me

The talking bird leads me down the garden path. It is gone. The sky down here is another sky made of dark ice. There is no way back. There is no day and no night. I can make out my grandfather’s watery shed in the darkness that is as tangible as frost. Here are his tears frozen on the trees. Here are his sighs hiding in the mouths of a lost world of unborn flowers. Here is the dribble of his broken heart. My shadow shivers in the frosty darkness.
I wait like I’ve waited before for the talking bird, a dream in the icy air causes me to heat up. Like a happy song on a cloud of sorrow, I’ll fall down and be dissolved into the cracks in the hard ploughed earth covered by snow.
Eternity’s dark watery globe revolves here in the space that has never known light. I long to lay my head in someone’s lap and cry myself to sleep. Come back to me, taking bird, talk and help me to forget how trapped I am at the bottom of this strange garden.

The door into the blue sky

There were many hands thrust through the bars, fanned out fingers on stiff wrists on pale white stalk arms.
Pleading to be free to the man inside
The cat man, the prayer man, the singer of sons
The man in captivity.
The volcano had hurled out iron bars like spears that landed like wickerwork supports around him and were hammered home into the round slots in the base of the iron basket
Outside the window, the skies burned red.
A tall giant of a man with a club herded the worshippers passed the iron cage like hysterical mourners filtering passed a monarchs coffin.

Blue skies opened their doors.
She was in the bath.
The bathroom was filled with scent and bubbles and soft pink towels.
In a kind of trance, she opened the window of her council house and flew out. Feathers began to cover her nakedness; she looked down at the council estate
At the lengthening shadows, at the sun melting down.
In a scrapheap, in a caravan, in a manger
She saw a baby crying.
On a garbage dump in a prison in a prison cell
Pidgeon’s had flocked hard and close in the shadowy interior.
She rose higher into where day melted into the night.
Just as the last second ticked away the door into the blue sky closed and a door into night opened

The cricket jumped through the jungle without any sense of where he was going, freedom was built into his hind legs
Freedom sang as they catapulted the little green body skywards
But then he came upon some thick impenetrable overgrowth that covered a standing stone. He landed and stared hard. He could just make out a figure carved into the surface.
It was a man in strange clothing with staring eyes.
The cricket began to think, here was a representation of what all living creatures could be, it showed him that he could be like this carving of this man standing stone.
Now he was a cricket that could be transformed into much more, he could think of himself as an extraordinary being that had come back to life to the amazement of all around him. He could be half cricket, half-god; he could rise up to be amongst the stars.

The nurse walked orderly down the hospital corridor and into the changing room.
She sat down on a plastic chair and listened to the drumbeat of her racing heart.
The drumbeat grew louder, deafeningly loud.
She lost consciousness and fell to the floor.
Then she escaped along a pathway made of hearts and into a long-abandoned market.
It was ominously dark there, plums and grapes were piled high upon the tables blocking out the light.
She felt she was being squeezed. She felt she was changing into someone else, she looked into a pool of fresh rainwater and she could see a purple shape with black wings, she was being lifted off her feet by something with strange black wings and was taken back down the hospital corridor and into the ward.

The plasticine man was sober and asleep.
He lay on the bench outside the government building
He had superhuman hearing and he could hear the politicians in the inner chamber of the building debating the new bill.
The plasticine man began to gain weight.
Then his legs began to stretch. Then his arms were stretched out like string along the street and over Westminster Bridge.
He felt no pain; he enjoyed the changes that sleep brought over him. He looked forward to waking up to find out what new thing he had become.
Would he be sitting in the Commons? Would he be a politician?
Would he be beneath a tree splattered like a fallen egg from a nest?
Would he be swept up like litter by the street cleaner?
Suddenly he felt a stab of pain, and then he heard a hammering on a door and a loud voice.
“No” he cried, No, stop, stop”

There was a storm brewing. The clouds were darkening but one cloud was darkening more than the others.
It was developing thoughts, it tried to control them but it could not.
It had a belly full of lightning.
It was becoming psychotic.
Black horse’s legs grew beneath it.
A face appeared in its thunderous mass.
Soon it was out of control, roaring across the land screaming and cursing.
The other storm clouds become white with shock; all of their energy was taken away from them by the psychotic black cloud.
As the psychotic black cloud reached the ocean it exploded.
Thoughts turned into rain and anger turned into blood and it rained down upon the ocean.
Then there was silence.

A reprimand from the absent guest at the A.G.M

You invited yourself along and all that you do came too. Carolyn’s shrub, wet with pain, you passed by as if you wore the night like a fairy tale. Now what have you done with the oyster of your mouth? Counting the steps of my vertebrae up to the moon that rattles in my brain amongst the deadwood of words; A white lie in the dream of corridors echoed through the old building like a rampant albino nettle. The piano played like a skeleton in the hunger of my heart; the music was a dark closeted room of loneliness; Despairing in the maze of rooms in my identity of ice and fire. A spoil of war put at your feet by the red ghost of love.

How often unfairness drags me through prison walls laughing
How often has unfairness blunted my own words in my own heart?

Tired alone and defeated by the stress of cats mewing in my brain
I left you to the spoils of war fashioned out of the ivories of my bones.

Now you have formed a mystery with me
Your inbred arrogance slips through the closed door like bath water.

I can hear the voices of the roses inside
But all I’m given are the pledges of distant voices.

My imagination is plastic and it is clay
It is formed into whatever you want it to from.

If I were a man made of glass windows
The world would see the fool inside in his red fur coat.

But it seemed like a normal day to Jehovah
And I seemed like a grain of sand in a fire.