Modernism

[Been ages since I wrote a nonsense poem]

Is it modernist when….

the cities walls that rise are Paris, London, Troy?

Orlando is a girl – a girl? Orlando is a boy.

The time it lasts is vague, but the weeping is specific

and fascinating things go on, glimpsed over the Pacific.

The footnotes are all gone, just when you need them most,

and Eliot gets his dick wet in some grubby London boat

whilst Joyce moo-cows and lintels by the public bar,

and Woolf idly wonders where the women writers are.

Where the reading public seek relief from rationality

and find it in the pages of the Heart of Darkness’ savagery,

and nobody is anyone without difficult imagery.

And everybody cares about art vs machines,

meaning, well, nobody is quite sure what it will mean,

but mostly its to do with how they’re going to get paid.

All art of worth is intellect, and nothing is obscenity,

and Wyndham Lewis spends two decades, trying to get laid.

At Bay

At Bay

Wake me if it learns to speak,
if it brings props and mimes the journey.

Wake me if it needs fed,
and give it those old pets we didn’t mourn.

Wake me if it thickens up with dusk
and flick three switches: light, light, light.

Wake me if it’s sharpening its teeth,
offer it toffee, tongue-twisters, raw-hide.

But it came –
tail in quickstep rhythm
her dreaming of polished ballrooms,
sequins, sweet breath on collar bones:
took her soul like a damsel
draped over its muzzle,
talons so lightly ensuring
her eyelids were closed.

The depths of what won’t edit

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Vastly under-worked but honestly, I think we’ve reached the end of our short road. Throwing it here rather than throwing it out. Arguably dubious move.
Compromise

Rain comes at seven –

ten past, you want to walk outside.

Dinner, you pronounce,

can sit in the yellow light of the humming fridge:

in the yellow light of evening, we go out

and look at things. I’m starving,

and if this helps, you keep it to yourself.

 

In the bushes nothing moves. The wind

whips up the rubbish, circles, biting grit,

then lapses. Gulls shriek at nothing, trees

wrecked by too much summer, slump,

and I agree we’ll sleep in different rooms,

and dinner spoils. Rain stops at eight:

at nine I go to bed and dream of heat

that steams the wet off pavements,

dries the air.

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