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from sublunar

 

(1)

bad King John he invented leg wax
in the English forest and the yellow moon
and the barons bald in the thicket they cry
spare us for we are already hairless
and our plums and our damsons ripen but slowly

in England we don’t call these muffins
in England we call these muffins

latent in the shrubbery alone with a finch
alone with a finch and Thousand Island Dressing
in Merthyr where they wax the lemons
at Hampton Court with a tiny chopper

ruined again in wisteria and parsley
alone, alone with guacamole

what wonders is she sitting on over there
alone on a toadstool with Raymond van Barneveld?

Lady Mayoress when you meet me in the mist
hoist high the colours of the Townswomen’s Guild
surrender to me your oblique turret
that we might once more see the stars

 

 

 

(4)

in the new towns, the rhubarb ripens slowly

over the fields like they do in etchings
golden buckwheat, shampoo in their baskets
like Ezra Pound inventing Chinese food
around the ring road on his tricycle

a stag loose amongst the elms
the long lost unicorn of Benjamin Disraeli
all the sorroweful, fotgottone canaries
in the ditch, where Pepys sunk his parmesan

Old John of Gaunt got dropped in a ditch
With a vegan samosa and a packet of crisps
And when the moon came up over Avalon
Old John of Gaunt was gone, was gone
Yes old John of Gaunt was gone

at the hedge school with a Samsung Galaxy
low it bends, the sun, this early morning
it is the eighteenth century and we have no ramekins
but even then for our ploughman’s lunch
we put our pickle in little pots           
and the bees made these
yes, the bees made these

in chronicles, documented, a knight errant
in a stagecoach on the Great North Road
into the forest where the nectarines harden

have I told you about my solar panels?
have I told you about the bulrushes?
have I told you about the thing on my foot?

an ancient monument, mesmerised by blossom
down in the hollow with Jeremy and Jeremy
one of them is wearing a billowing cape

 

 

 

(6)

rain and lingering moon, the apples
the apples bobbing in the starrey ditch

in the alleys, a baby hatched from an egg
in the lanes where the highwaymen are tormented by nettles

honey portion, vegetable oil, blackcurrant jam, a magickal image
the voice emerging from a haunted vase

round here, the spectres shout down the chimneys
the relict shade of Little Billy Fane
amongst the gooseberries, protected by pyramids
the sacred chaffinch of the Chamber of Commerce

I drew a series of squares on the table
And in each I placed a polished stone
And there is no significance in this,
no significance

in the treehouse, the drone of a gramophone
and there on a map in the Moss Troopers’ lair
the sunken coracle of Chas and Dave

out in the baye, the jellyfishe

take this brother, this hand-stretched ciabatta
and with it appease the burghers of Calais
place your hand amongst the watercress
and drive back the ants of Charlemagne

when the revolution came, there was no-one in the street
just one cat staring at a litter bin

in the summer, amongst the barley sugar
and the apples and the ethical mangoes of Albion

 

 

 

(11)

being severalle circuitous routes to the warlockes laire

right and then east in the rain through the trees
up and then west in the rain through the trees
left and then west in the wind through the trees
down and then east in the hail through the trees
left and then north in the wind through the trees
left and then south in the snow through the trees
down and then east in the hail through the trees
right and then east in the wind through the trees
up and then west in the snow through the trees
right and then west in the wind through the trees
left and then north in the wind through the trees
right and then west in the hail through the trees
down and then south in the rain through the trees
left and then south in the rain through the trees


 

 

 

[Tom Jenks’ latest book is Spruce, published by Blart Books. He administers the avant objects imprint zimZalla, co-organises The Other Room reading series and website and is completing a PhD at Edge Hill University. More at http://zshboo.org]

 

Copyright © 2016 by Tom Jenks, 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.



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