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from A Wing & A Prayer

Fugitive pieces of the pirate’s gospel:
transient life in the twilight, a hang-
over jig around buckets of optimism
and a small circle of neglected saplings.

All I ever wanted was to run to the ghost
and remember how clouds collapsed
as my mirror spoke. This is no reflection
on you, it is simply the mirrorball light

in the wounded wood one morning
in spring. On a day like this, showers
cause the sky to collapse and blood
to run downhill. A storm is coming

and it is not the weather to fly. My friend
is late, it is like waiting for the testcard
to move across the television screen.
Every forest has its shadow: this is mine.


Fictional mechanics and staged events
are unlikely to fool the participants
or cure our feverish dreams.

Awkwardness and ineptitude means
you’re more likely to sink than swim.
Torn landscapes repeatedly exposed

look old and worn, dark and lifeless.
What we’re seeing is cultural history
ultimately lifted by unflagging belief.

The black-suited character is everyone,
is always on the lookout for land uglier
than his own. The maker defies gravity,

is another blip on the radar. There are
messages coming in from the architect,
he is planting fresh sentences as we speak

although they may just turn out to be
somebody speaking like a human being
about being a human being, or rather

singing like one.

for Anthony

Frosted colour and splashback.
Windows as high as the ceiling
and doors to private worlds

where radios on timers
tame and catch the music
as it falls upon Penzance.

The boombox can't keep up.
All this zigzag electricity
amplifies the sound,

and these canvasses
are way too small for
what you want to paint.

It is as easy as singing
and alters the neural
connections in the brain,

is a rapid short circuit
of chaos, an equation
of movement and line,

is as natural as falling
into friendship, as hard
as grey concrete walls.

We cannot get a word in
and would not want to:
you are so noisily alive.


[Rupert M. Loydell is Lecturer in English with Creative Writing at University College Falmouth, and the Editor of Stride magazine. Shearsman published his book of poems An Experiment in Navigation in the Spring of 2008.]

Copyright © 2008 by Rupert Loydell, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.