IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY!:
Rose early from a late night lap top,
eyes marinaded in glass, tight as piano wires.
Disturbed by dreams of people I love alone in
the dark with a pack of salivating wolves.
Caught the eye of a builder coming home from
the city of dreams in a Wolves t-shirt as I
caught the Essex train, chewing on something
delicately seasoned. The shirt was blue, it
should have been rich yellow, memories of 1960s
Molineux, Man U v Wolves. Dougan, Best, Charlton.
The crowd surges, squeezing the breath out of a
boy my age who gets carried away by the St John’s
& misses the game. Two years later he walks into
my class at school, introduces me to Iggy, Ziggy,
Zeppelin, Fairies, Hawkwind & we’re friends to this
Back on the train, the builder looks at me with the s
ame eyes as the wolf on his chest. Are you stalking me
for a moonlit transformation?
IF HERE WAS SOMEWHERE ELSE:
Will it be the hot train? Will it be the cold train?
Will it be John Coltrane muttering ‘A Love Supreme’?
As we ride into the sweat box of the city of dreams.
Remember to sit on the side away from the sun, plug in
your ears & disconnect or open up & let it in. The day,
the light, the perfumed cacophony, the carnival clattering
of conversation poetry, the life eternal, the story passed
from mouth to mouth & ear & hand, the dance, the romance
of all this if only it was any other country?
Last night, we sat out under the stars watching winking lights
cross the sky, imagining we were somewhere else & this was
someone else’s home we’d rented for a week.
“How amazing it would be”, we’d say,
“if only we could stay here forever!”
Sleepless nights filled with vivid dreams of crazy
relationships I thought were real – woke to
fiction relief. Take out the bins, watch corn dance
in the breeze, connect to it’s tousled groove.
I want to break language, not tell stories for a while,
make noises, only fragmentary words, mouth sounds filtered
by specific emotions. Standing in crop dust grass at the
edge of a field, thick cloud between us & the sun, I’m
grateful for a day’s relief from the heat & still recovering
from a night of vivid dreams of you.
ICE CREAM FOR CROW:
In the queue for Kazimir Malevich the man selling tickets
“Really enjoying ‘Someday World'”.
Heat, heat & more heat. A young guitarist plays with his
guitar flat-lap style, hammering on, pulling off, slapping
& banging like a drum-piano, grinning a skinny grin to himself
as if there was no one else was around & if I could see his
eyes I could tell you more. What I sure of is his fingers know
where they’re going, dancing cool as we wilt in the heat.
COOKING WITH ELECTRIC:
A snapshot of the night erupts in rolling thunder,
electric pink & yellow, rain as cruel as laughter.
Basted in sweat, wrapped in linen, cover our eyes,
the heat of the sun pours from our skin, sleep
disturbed by a chill wind through flung windows.
The night smells scientific, the morning, green &
open. The pressure dropped, the dance returned,
an invitation to lucid thought.
THE SNAKE MAN:
Between early fields I met a bronzed & muscular man,
walking a small ginger dog. In his hand a sturdy
walking stick, raised to the sky, on which he’d drawn
a crude circle.
“Look, a flattened snake!” he smiled, swinging it
in my direction as the small ginger dog sniffed
excitedly in the grass at the edge of the road.
“Nice” I smiled back, noticing he was dressed in
black & braces, head a perfect dome, uncovered in
the sun & when I looked, I saw, though he was old,
his eyes were young.
Mirror of the sun on your face, Rhythm of your fast thumbs
dancing, transmitting. Where you are, where you’re going,
‘Big Red’, your stolen identity in black & white.
Turned on to Sam Francis for the first time.