the insects came whirring
only one in a suit and       by biofeedback can we
teach teenagers to control their emotions?
you alight on this one verb and suck

              1.  cut into sections

established the border there     our own
aftertaste of what’s been                voided
and rotting fruit         I wish
you’d be more exact          exacting

you after all are human         a fragrant
summery pudding        the light
is multiple      bifurcation
is your middle name    

              2.  notched

engraved in the distance
there’s a writhing to maintain
where each segment articulates
pulse stutter or nociceptor
response forming into curlicues
or other lures so that the brush
against cloth and abscond
with a second thought

              3.  adapt

a motion-sensor    following a light-track
glow-w   and retracing the     leaves
behind a tremor   and back    formation
of the    mathematical    of the
nervework     the incorporation
of written materials    shavings and rinds  
the loose    chewed news     a-flutter
and reset   permission to calculate
the series    and reset     to within an inch
of your life   going back over    going
back over     going over    uneven territory
avoiding the dip     after lunch
going over   legs waving   befuddled hippo-
campus     legscrabble    perhaps   
it was that rose-delicate prawn I ate?

              4.  a brand new day

alight on a finger or finger a palm or shoulder
over a thousand times our own weight
righting writing a rout do we really
have to go over this again? we’ve already
or already gone over this ground this oscillation
this subject to new information a working
mandible hypothesis froth over a palpable
absorption itself protrusion again an overextension rerouting
itself protrusion of grubbing mouth spaces
clicking selective electric reiteration
a generation slick with fruiting and overwriting

              5.  recovery

under a resounding shield the fused elytra there is no getting past
that unfamiliar word an emotion kept in a shoebox surviving
nuclear or scraps living on a figment leaf or a pierced jar
rustles in the undergrowth I was constructing an elaborate
hide if you can I’m a keen armature photographer
a sheathed shapely a much-applauded chitinous segment
from behind the blood curtain a thief casing the joint

              6.  those eyes

gives way to pathos         or blinding
hail of noise in the channel
gruesome the way that they
between the soft material
of the neck and the hard
material of the head     & its insistent      
opening       jetblackness    
to an unknown 

consoles       motorised jaw    governance
the signal failure of this or this
to bring any      nectar-drunk     
with a wingspan of six feet
& the revolving    excess of stimuli





[Jonathan Catherall has published poems in Datableed3AMTears in the FenceEnvoiVisual Verse, and The Frogmore Papers. He has performed his work at Caplet, Words & Jazz, and in the spontaneous poetry/art collaboration event Erratic Scores; and has reviewed for The Literateur and The Wolf.  He works for the Wellcome Trust supporting public engagement with science.]

Copyright © 2017 by Jonathan Catherall, 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.