homepage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From TIME AND MOTION STUDIES

 

I
To a Plane-tree, Queen’s Park Gardens

Diminished in bearing, patchy,
inclined to stoop, you resemble nothing
so much as these drawn, shrunken women
who huddle beneath you, downing cans; from whom
everything is falling slowly away.

 

II

Subjected
      to the dense clamour
  these starlings send up
    in mobbing
the haggard oak –

      they re-leaf
its stark armature
          a half-season soon
you’d swear –

    he began
          to have a mind
for a more
        indelicate
rhetoric –

 

III

Where they’ve demolished
half a terrace, a wall
bares etiolated
                      paisley-flock
unaltered since
                      ’74; trace
of a family history
                        briefly extant
before
the wrecking-ball
                      pendulums
back
            into play –

 

VI
Testimony

We used
three sieves
to filter the ashes,

to sift out
the bone-shards
and resistant
teeth;

to break down
the residue
to a flour-soft
dust

fine enough
to fertilise
their rose-
garden.

 

VII

Bore the rushed brunt
of a bumper, that jay
did, spreadeagled yesterday
on the wet pavement,

his brutal arrest
granting this much by way
of bequest:

our unforeseen view
of tiny wing-feathers’
iridescent blue.

 

IX
Locu

    i)

Does gull’s harsh diphthong
    creak like an unoiled see-saw
or vice versa?

    ii)

Proof he’s dyslexic:
    I find I hAT bAb felt-tipped
behind his bedroom door

    iv)

Leaves swept from wet pavings
      print after-blurs of themselves;
ghostly negatives

 

X

Crack-willows, silvering like water
as the wind veers
through; unbridled outgrowths
of lilac:
                they’ve all
but overtaken the tenantless
canal-boat, its flaky name
just visible:

GIPSY WANDERER

 

XI
Involuntary Memory

Alas, the old edition of ‘The Love Poems of Vidyapati’
      I was planning to buy and give to you
has the same musty smell as the porn magazines
I would find in the woods aged fifteen or sixteen
        and secretly abuse myself to.

 

XII
Girl at Party

Bonily immobile,
you seemed only an easel
set up
            by the window,
                                  your wide face
the preparatory sketch
for a portrait,
                            an outline
that needed
                        fleshing

 

XIII

In Avondale Park
the cottonwood trees
snow their seedy down
until the grass
lies white and woollen, sunlight
a-hover with fluff:

windfall of urban manna


 

[Oliver Dixon is a poet and writer based in west London whose poems and reviews have appeared in PN Review, The Wolf, Frogmore Papers and Nth Position. He runs the literary blog Ictus. His day-job is as a college lecturer working with students with learning disabilities.]

Copyright © 2010 by Oliver Dixon, 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.