homepage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Andrzej Sosnowski



Not One More for the Road

 

 

No. Breasting the clouds the 747

dives like a dolphin and blacks out

the screen, the headphones fill

with a sweaty silence.

Which is funny because

my sinking fund won’t float

anymore.  And who wears the noose

might not take the drop

but will still go down

for the third time.

 

Life still cobbles itself into shape

in the ether, sixty degrees below.

It’s one drink after another.  We ease

the slipknot of sleep, dreaming

a slipstream of blood in the tail

of this jet.  And I’m hooked for

re-fuelling, with vodka and ice.

 

And we finally land, in the rain,

where I walk clockwise

and sleep clockless, snagging

the phone wire around my

neck, but I hear the dial tone,

so I’m still in this world.  Outside

water rises.  I’ve brought no umbrella

and it’s the Atlantic, you know,

not a children’s book.  I am

still in this world, aren’t I. (Aren’t I?)




Resume

 

 

Getting ahead of yourself by .25 of a second

lagging behind the self in the Polaroid

in a haze of identity, skipping a beat

but dragging my feet in the light

and dark that the shutter blends

in a grey synchrony.

 

No matter whether I lose or find myself

No matter whether I sleep or slump before the TV

in showers of mud and water and cascades of leaves

it’s hell either way.

Autumn is out to captivate

and you try to redeem the captive hand

that was lost to the land of the living.

 

But there’s no rhyming between two worlds.

Two flames converge on one cigarette

but the hand with the match is unmatched,

it lights, and having lit, moves on;

even in grey autumnal dawns

when we vanish in over-exposure.




Pomona and Vertumnus

 

 

Seductive frescoes and coquettish stained glass

with the iron foliage of grated windows

this isn’t a make-believe world, Pomona

these aren’t the vaults of your dreams, Vertumnus.

 

With the iron foliage of grated windows

they speak of a town monopolized by children

these aren’t the vaults of your dreams, Vertumnus

but a smile and wave at the town’s last exit.

 

They speak of a town monopolized by children

the histories of children have nothing in them

but a smile and wave at the town’s last exit

in a moment eclipsed by the colossal sun.

 

The histories of children have nothing in them

the children of those children won’t know they’re born

in a moment eclipsed by the colossal sun

when time does a backflip and lands in the dark.

 

The children of those children won’t know they’re born

it’s the far end of history on our livid planet

when times does a backflip and lands in the dark

and the games of children stand out in night-vision.

 

It’s the far end of history on our livid planet

etching the outline of cathedral spire

and the games of children stand out in night-vision

in the shadows of needles on the underpass wall.

 

Etching the outline of cathedral spire

seductive frescoes and coquettish stained glass

in the shadows of needles on the underpass wall

this isn’t a make believe world, Pomona.



                                    Archilochus
                                                  fl.648 B.C.

nothing is out of this world
or beyond the pale since Zeus
found night in the blue of days
left the sun at a nonplus
made men forever twitchy
now anything and everything
springs from the box
 so what if the beasts of the field
leap in the sea like dolphins
the spouting waves are a charm to the ears
but not where the dolphins are
at rest in their mountain hideaway

 

 

[ Rod Mengham is author of books on Charles Dickens, Emily Bronte, Thomas Hardy and Henry Green, as well as of The Descent of Language (1993).  He has edited collections of essays on contemporary fiction, violence and avant-garde art, and the fiction of the 1940s.  He is also the editor of the Equipage series of poetry pamphlets and co-editor and co-translator of Altered State: the New Polish Poetry (Arc Publications, 2003) and co-editor of Vanishing Points: New Modernist Poems (Salt, 2005).  His own poems have been published under the titles Unsung: New and Selected Poems (Folio/Salt, 1996; 2nd edition, 2001) and Parleys and Skirmishes[poems] with photographs by Marc Atkins (Ars Cameralis, 2007).]

 

Copyright © 2011 by Rod Mengham, 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.