‘Why leave the sea? To carry a gift – the gift of life. But it is to the earth that you preach fidelity. And forgetfulness of your birth.’ — Luce Irigaray, Marine Lover of Friedrich Nietzsche

bullet point pressing
for consent to be distant
surveyor contact
hydrophobic glass-eyeing
take a little reed
be taken into high block
click dura mater
outside the potential space
cracked-crazed paradise
stone from sharp insolation
surveyor measures
the moral ground on the hoof
inflamed horse’s tail
forget the Hippocrene
subjective dry mouth
plucking ropey saliva
rotten egg ructus
with his stagnant projections

             O daughter that was
             a cautionary account
                           transition into
                           a watery stage ‘aah’ing
                                          covers vestibule
                                          against grave linear speed
                                          joint decompression
                                          minimal striated tone
             still shudder to think
             Mnemosyne must preserve
an after-image
bubbling on the smooth surface
an oval window
ruptured by naval patrols
carefully balanced
reproductive budgets shot
belly burial
pit for aerojet agents
perchlorate short shelf
life carrying miscarriage

            entertain only
            the impossibility
            of a driving on
            without a trace of damage
            to work for ending
            its accumulation
                           hydrostatic force
                           evenly distributed
                           no crushing blood tide
                           or being engrossed
                           in a mystique of the land
                                          but closeness to an
                                          element spread before the
                                          synthesis of stars
                                          what breath is this O daughter

                           guide her alongside
                           dorsal thermoregulate
            for another’s sake
            anticipate impressions
of lipophilic
toxic crystals cord exposed

            in Watsu cradle 
                           ripples across fretless neck
                                          fibrous strings buzzing
                           hard data dioritic
                                          aspiration gives
                                                         in to supple rebonding
                                                         double notes of a warbler
                                          no place certainty
                                                         splash-happy syncopations
                                          in Erewash Meadows
                                                         before the diversity
                                          of native contents
would succumb to a species
of domination

            strain to rest assure
            what seems terminable is
            kept in bearable
                           range of a newfound expanse

for merchant service
her substance keel-hauled and flogged
            the numskull master
                           will taste his own medicine
            I wear a mop wig
                           judgement inflicts upon him
                           the ‘sweat’ deck-jigging
                           we jab his nates with pen-knives
                                          IV lines will change
                                                        into grape-vines through airs of
                                          Orthian ardour
                                                        dropout spontis wage a war
                                          black flags by free ports
                                                        set sail for sources of wealth
                                          beyond the fat years
                                                        strip gourmets of Kobe beef
                                          from cows emptied out
                                          by special forms of massage
                                                        raid privation pools
                                                        built in the banks of the spree

                                                        don’t spend infinity
                                          in the pinch of decrees to
                                          pipe down bottle-feed
                                          on premium fleshy pink
                                          such a fancy price
                                                        imagination avails
                                                        itself of the lost
                                                                      at first sight a white speck
                                                                                     scatters the sunlight
                                                                      the total shape too far gone
                                                                                     mimesis reflex
                                                                                     make ventral arch stretch the tongue
                                                                                     pulse conducted through
                                                                                                     steadily rising contours
                                                                                     of a signature
                                                                      I can’t really remark on

                                                        scent of cassia
                                                        generated as received
                                          where there is desert
                                                        a caravan passes through
                                          leaving signs obstructive tribes
                                          can’t identify
                                                        runoff percolates into
                                                        underground cisterns
                                                        stored for serving points of flight

                                          finding the Fertile Crescent
                                                        raises the venous
                                          return clearing waste products
                                                        palms lapping softly
                                          against slightly parted thighs
                                                        and what high relief
                                          what face is this O daughter
                                          in the tympanum
                                          dolphins’ beaks meeting
                                          above the veil and waved hair
                                          from a multi-leaved
                                          acanthus cup comes a head
                                          and winged torso
                                                        dive in vagus-inspired
                                                        know the solution hitting
                                                                      the back of the throat
                                                        can’t make any inroads through
                                                                      amniotic density





[Iain Rowley is a poet and essayist with a particular interest in Modernist and contemporary innovative aesthetics, Marxist-feminist and new materialist currents of thought, and figurations of the body that contest technocratic governance. His work has recently been published in Intercapillary Space, and another poem is forthcoming in Tears in the Fence 64.]


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