A Boy Called It


What is it, you ask me? I do not know what it is: I know
there are times with you
when it feels
anything could be said or done: it is too much

when salt is poured on the slug
it turns to nothing: when I hear your even
more even and deep than anything

we could do or say
I turn to nothing: it occurs to me
as snowflakes hit the river
it is one way of disappearing



It is also a film
with a horrible clown in it
a group of children grow up
get back together: but the thing is

is the monster
is a guarantee
that when decades later we
find each other

aged as if by latex
it will be the same people
through a dark wood



A boy called it: everything in him
wanted to run
so he did: when he came
to the centre of power

designed to be filmed
from all angles
to look plausible
in HD

he palmed the glyph: looked at that blank
space: the reptile’s head
the skull crowned with flies
till it shone



From the footprints by the window
I extrude
the killer
as a late beam of sun

pushes a line of black
out of a pebble
as that line turns slowly

a clock
I will have it
all wrapped up
by sundown



There were little bows
all over her lingerie
you couldn’t untie

want it
she said
but it’s only



Wondering what it looked like: smelt like: felt like
you walked round the perimeter
made guesses in the shadows: this also
was pleasurable

at midnight
the wind ruffled the cordons
searchlights caressed the waste

with soft
started to sing



[Vidyan Ravinthiran is a lecturer at Balliol College, Oxford. His pamphlet, ‘At Home or Nowhere’, was published in 2008 by Tall-Lighthouse; other poems were anthologised this year in Joining Music With Reason (Waywiser Press) and have appeared or are forthcoming in Magma, Poetry Review, The North, The Times Literary Supplement, The Oxonian Review, Ambit, Agenda, Stand, Horizon Review, Poetry Wales and Smiths Knoll.]

Copyright © 2010 by Vidyan Ravinthiran, 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.