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from Hail Gazers #2


Come the cold, darkening
afternoon, the Earth tilting
the drinker toward his retirement,
the folding travel armchair
in the sunny yellow corner
by the elongated arms of knitted winter
shadow, taken backward
and put into the box,
the lid screwed back on
the little Malt left.


You’re old enough
to remember when licensed
premises opened
at eleven, and Punters, for reasons:
terrain, inclemency, to louden
the hush of Infinity, waited
the opening of doors
to quieten the heart in its hoody,
pacing the roped, square ring,
in the appalling, impossible trinity:
Love, Fear, and Mystery;

waited like fighters no one
will take on: the younger among
us remember the animal, Tyson,
exploding from his career.
A story about his pigeons; a panting
blackness of tyger.


Bars at eleven was Ali,
nothing clay about him,
TV off at the PM,
goodnight, basket cases,
Kiwi, Cat, the ladder of Fact,
far call left in the bottle.


Sleep now loads
in a petrie dish,
G, Hz, & .i, as a pod
our Kind communicate
in the mechanical matter of gravity
and the pull in two directions
is what is keeping you stable,
still, hungover, you’d queue
at the doors in the morning,
Newton’s hinged ordering
relevant to this memoranda,
when I spent the day at the centre,
the raised-lip, circular
tables with crushed packets,
spills, the jars of ashy water,
someone telling, again, about the
ex— how much she got, how
little she did; the upped
Retirement age— the left,
you saw it coming, took it,
boxed on, elbows tucked in.
The bell rings, the round ends
with the Blood man icing the cut,
gelling the eyebrow shut,
caught in the symmetry, stuck,
the trainer pushing you back
as the waxed girl sashays off,
your round above her head,
Debt, Credit, and Tab;
the boxing: it never stops—
each year someone drops
their pint, shits, their pants
cut off, a suit put on, replaced
the off-switch, turned in sleep,
the lid nailed shut, the coffin
planted, the baby tooth
of a headstone, slanted
in nappies, to nappies, and home.

And again the birds alight
in the never tiring arms,
you’re sat in the pub confused
like a Rehab’d minibus convoy
of child-stars collected for a studio
documentary: those half-hours ago;
the mash of happier days,
done, like pigeons exposed
to an EM pulse, or the Bees
with their pollen to honey
process lost in the static
of misdirection,
in the glaze of important texting
in the non-ionising take-down
in the dark in the fear of no light
through busted calcium gates,
the squeaking rusted hinges
on the barriers: bees, and the blood,
degrees of productivity, the cost
of protection, cranium
with no privacy,
or secrecy— ever
the gingery climb, the walk
through creaky pines,
the coppery clime beneath these,
the time-blue signage of deep seas,
this wet repetitive collapse
into Human— how do you like the word:
‘hu’man? Being
put into words next, like velcro,
like lacing gloves on a boxer
to fight on with others, for munny,
ventilation; the heart is a sponge
for Cheering, Elation waiting Punishment
Concluded: I say we are born unchaperoned,
in caverns of deep mind, to disable
lactic creatures symbolic disorder
in ancient fetish centralised Thanking-priests
from under cabalhoods devised,
some tantric milk collection
long after the eminence memory
existence becomes the echo as a reference
for the source, a cover story, a sign:
do not disturb; intrillionable cycles
Sleeping; work your feet, & jab
coming up, the uppercut relies, not
on anger, like a starred cloak a wizard
does not make; nor hatred, the Hurt
—cannot fight past defeat, the
ear-bitten ungracious sadness;
the uppercut coming at take off
is from two feet firmly on the earth

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