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Oarfish

Frail on my eye
Frozen hair to head
Lingering on the surface
Trailing crest reddish at ray tips

Tapering to point
Abraded silver lacking glass bladders
Oblique mouth
With no visible teeth

Undulating dorsal
To keep the body straight
Iron in eye
Dipping dark film

Foretelling earthquake
Slippery augur
Throbbing

Lifting breath
Of stirred birds
Rolling underneath bleak gash
Buckled hurl and glide

Weeping frame of dark
Snatch of flame
Tongue to wound
Several sins steeped in shadow

Fear not slander rash
In furious winter rage
Under green plunge
Gargling jolt in forth corrupt

Obscene vile tongue
Poking and writhing
Ecstasy of fumble bitter

Form wrapped in mantle grey
Resting upon the lap
Sigh shapeless in rustic
Dipping into holy tests

Stream reclining to bend
Knotted oak revolve
Spreading breeze
In silent scene

Black shore
Tormented by careless skill
Unceasing murmur close
In secret slow creeks

Running behind as fast as I can
Clutching camera and binoculars
Heart rusting in bellow pitch
Skimming down to wave hands

Heavy barge trail
Breezes dusk and shiver
Weaving magic curses
In damp purple clusters

Heavy storm east wind
Low sky raining pale
Bold seer in trance
Water black dim expanse

Blood frozen
Gleaming tube curve
Floating by
Eternal mask steadfast

Sun symmetry spread
Aching serenity hem
Meek shine
Casting brow divine

Torn and troubled
Full nerve frayed
In cold star gentle
To break sleep and sweat

Supressing breath
Like a dying mammal
Confronting scattered bones
Where the vile worm rests

 

 

Polaroid

‘With a final wave of the hand and three squawky cheers from us and the penguins, Sir Ernest and his crew set off on their perilous voyage’. — From The Diary of Thomas Orde-Lees

devil hole
devil of a hole
thin strips cut of crisp surface
sheer legs crooked
in canvas slacks
peering out of tattered tent
arranging strap settings
in routine of daily work

interweaved spirals
pressed into rope
turning across the wind
leaving the headsail backed
strenuous effort and over exertion

heavenly
heavenly pole
eighty eight degrees
and running risk of frostbite
black fingers
like stubbed cigars
displayed on bright surface
of white peaks
and silhouettes

hibernian hero
sun of cush
hunting again
with a beard full of frost
in brittle blocks
pony floundering
up to belly in snow
futile efforts pointless
in broadside blizzard
whipping the scurvy neck
into frozen suppuration

once a shiny new cap
once a stiff white collar
once an upright mast
threefold
as union jacks flapped

upon closer view she did not look so neat and trim
as the deck was littered with boxes and crates
and at least a thousand dogs:
mooch
split lip
soldier
shakespeare
owd bob
hussy and samson

to name a few
in dogloo


 

 

 

 

 

 

[Mark Greenwood is a performance writer from Newcastle but now based in Liverpool. His first poetry collection White Mice, All Colours was published in 2010 and he has performed his works internationally as well as appearing on BBC Radio 3’s The Verb in 2015. His poems mediate on labour, endurance and defunct working-class rituals using a Northern, punk vernacular. Mark received a doctorate in 2013 from Kingston University for his thesis and 48-hour performance, Lad Broke: The Performing Body in the Event of Writing. He has also taught Performance Writing at Dartington College of Arts.
       He regularly performs his experimental works and is currently collaborating with a number of sound and performance artists including Nathan Jones, a.P.A.t.T and Cavalier Song. ‘Greenwood’s poetic works offer us a slightly misshapen but recognisable recording of everyday experience, of a land that has never quite existed or a parallel place’. Rachel Dobbs, Gambling Man, 2011.]

 

Copyright © 2015 by Mark Greenwood, 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.