6

I
No more of that:
deliberated movements unbecoming of themselves,
becoming someone else’s, someone else,
deliberate-

-ly tightrope-
stumbling the dashed lines in the middle of the road;
dancing a shambly, hypertrophied
two-step

who walks it
all the way from town on a Friday night, ready to drop,
star-like, out of constellation Europe
(knowledge of Brexit

nobbling opinion).
Cat’s eyes cataracting, a huge downpour blanks you
watering the ground with mordant urine,
channelling Banksy

’s anonymous
ubiquity; a ubiquitous anonymity
rising like damp in each subsiding city
house by house.

Losing track
here could prove fatal. Your lucky break is broken
across the line, across which you’re taken
by a lucky break

into a blind field –
floundering in that primal matter, or chaos
of mud, where universal darkness
shines, revealed.

 

II
No more of what?
That first section didn’t make it particularly clear.
Nevertheless – the wind shakes out
the rain’s mantilla

black with leaves,
traffic advances its cortege to walking pace;
in the bus shelter a people grieves
its expected bus.

The world is small
enough to imagine: endlessly recycled weather
ghost-written by a nameless author
of muted appeal,

pathetic fallacies
of logic: I am not the world’s to mirror, it is mine.
December sky gives up its slow design,
crumples to pieces

what was gathered
in the dark. An autobiography
captured in ice-puddles, my reflection briefly
illustrates the dead –

the living, that is,
a shadow on the lens. The history of elegy
obverts the elegy of history,
Eros and Thanatos’

unhappy marriage.
Anyone’d think they keep us waiting here on purpose.
Immaculate sunshowers turn the page
to foul papers.

 

 

III
No more of this
petitioning for existence. Maybe it’s a good sign
when you’re generally ignored, condign
to a powerlessness

bearing out the day:
not deleted, quite, but marginally justified.
As pulpy nestlings gulp their Twitter-feed
tweet your birth-cry.

I hear a peacock’s
cry, see shimmering forms of transmigrated men and women
calling out vainly to foreign children.
Something on Netflix

perhaps or YouTube
transported me, flung through the wormhole of a diode.
By the time you read this, I will have died.
Do Not Disturb

my profile. Shakespeare
wanted ubiquity and anonymity at once,
achieved it: a oneness of presence,
that clear-as-air

transfiguring mask.
If you can’t see it, maybe shut up and listen.
Consider the self-abasing passion
of Sacher-Masoch

for utopia.
I’ve a sentimental passion for the work of bell hooks,
the fury of the black-boned phoenix
drinking the fire.

 

 

IV
No more of these
unnerving displays. Everyone got over their afflictions,
enshrined, happily, in their higher factions –
I mean faculties

(Freudian slip) –
eminent, online, adverting one and all to their
smooth recoveries. A rising culture:
the sweet dollop

of unsavoury
leaven, supplementary quintessence of a rough
artisan’s bread. (Inflation of your dough
will vary.)

Let them eat
bread, choose from our exciting new range of sailor’s rations.
Change tack. Grow stately as a Russian’s
monarchy of wheat.

(Sun overhang-
ing winter trees, skimped with ivy, lights briefly as if
reanimated – come back to life
with a silent bang)

Inconvenience
of the world’sbreath. The world is everything that is
the case, whatever that means. Among these
kindling thespians

find yourself cast
as dead wood; discover yourself therein, a red-
hot clinker puffing up the bread
of Culture Fest.

 

 

V
(No more, no more…)
That’ll do, thank you! Don’t call us, we’ll… Just don’t call us.
Eyes down for your last flourish, soulless
exit through stagedoor.

EXTERIOR: DAY:
SRI KRISHNA RAVAGING THE ADMINISTRATIVE CLASSES
WITH HURRICANES OF FIRE. Such vacancies
direct your play.

From a bar-room
music splashes like a slop, the door bangs to again
with a kick of storm, spat spats of rain,
wind’s boom-boom

with a rouzled earth;
space unfolding from its narrow box, heaven’s disorder.
When heaven kills a thing it isn’t murder
or even death:

heterogeneous
infinities resolve into an image of the actual
and part again. That’s questionable.
It takes a genius

beyond intelligence
to play well with others: even one’s own creations
might rise up and bite with admonitions
of uncommon sense.

Leave it to the gurus.
On the outskirts of the city, a festival of god
or celebration of the burning flood.
Drown like sorrows.

 

 

 

 

[Alex Wylie lives in Leeds and teaches at York St John University. He is the author of Secular Games.]

Copyright © 2019 by Alex Wylie, 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.