Monthly Archives: August 2014

Dream-Confused Polar Bear In A University City (Second Draft)

This is what’s good about the rain.

Cars casting waves behind them
sell streets to me;
wheels drink in the wide showroom
with their
grooves, ribs and dimples.

Trees sit,
passing each river to the ground,
parting curtains,
into straight unbroken lines,
the shot glasses of a million great nights
measuring the
annual precipitation
above your shampooed and sodden hair.

Welcomed with that glassy, clean scent.

What’s good about the snow
is every shape made simple,
the cars blinded,
with hoods
of light ice,
heavy in landing together,
piled around a wide bend,
disappearing.

The weather
blocks sight,
to be with you,
and remember.

She found me,
it was time to,
but in a broken land of ice.

Each shape marks a bonus colour
triggering a memory and quickdraw smile
to the hearts which escape from instruments played
in an extreme weather
of happiness,
if you like.

And eyes can reach wider, and vine-like with curiosity;
eyes can be be insatiable, like climbing plants, but free.

In the room that spoke,
the polar bear
kept splashes of joyful paint
tufted in fur,
the emulsion for a canvas afterwards.

Waking up well is rare –
speak to an endangered bird.
It is good to wake up, in general,
with loud squawks trilling,
sun obscured by noise;

so feather a nest with
your own love,
and a Pandemonium
of family.

When it is the end
you will have to show
the stories that passed by the ear
of the smallest seashell that we sold,
the one too strange
for strangers,
the one that was priceless
at the discount of my
low-tide,
the actions that were spontaneous,

and all that remains,
is to say only something
of the truth that lived and went.

The sun rose over her house,
melting glass.

And this is what I learnt from her,
the ice-capped,
cold-toed
polar bear.

The polar bear is white
because she likes the snow,
because she likes to reflect
the aurora’s
many dreams.

But I saw her, lost,
like myself
and all out of the seas
we were asked to swim.

And I was happy floating
past the ocean
where a polar bear,
– where ice grew
at her feet –
walks the horizon,
looking for,
equally confused,
and diminished schools
of fish.

Because that’s what we’re given,
and that’s what we’re stuck with.

I want to be weird and in love
and go with you into the old city,
with our favoured strangeness
beset by the better spirits,
like candle flames
sheltered by cool stone,
our wise, satirical sense of
the truthful world and its lies,
leaving any anxieties and paranoias behind
spitting over their own skeletons
in attempts to cool,
arriving predictably in
the uncertain skins they shake in.

In boats
as we board others,
aflame and in the opposite direction,
vomit for old time’s sake,
under bridges
and pass through arches
of a fast food restaurant
in a historic city.

Old Octopus

Part of a Series of Poems about Films, and After the Film “Oldboy” (2003)

A mosaic of things to compose your halo,
an octopus on a plate
in parts,
under a sun
that is secretly Gaudí’s Greek cousin,
fashionably late to the celebration,
amid whispers of his maddening.

Bow-legged and troubled from recycling breath,
and television in the same box,
sleeping the entire room.

You wonder how the creator of this scheme
got away with it,
you wonder how it stays up,
about the lizards that the design can support.

In a frame of mind,
Gaudí, like Walt Disney, doesn’t belong,
and I can’t convince you of a different film;
I only have six arms and
two legs,
cut with a cared-for blade.

But the Sagrada Famílias are popping up like mushrooms
to dress the set,
the unfinished and sunny salad,
where tomatoes blaze alight.

The table,
first refracted by as much water
as wild hair that streams before your eyes
– that river is just the flow of days,
and you wake up in a different style,
sometimes enough for tears –
every morning

a fraction of that sea;
in your glass,
or glasses,

like the light,
that extends many running legs
on vivid grass,
and wide arms.

Old Boy,
of the movie,
I know
we can change the seas
in front of our world’s noses.

I know your angry
taste for octopus
is matched by your furious
memory of living,

and it’s not good to be an octopus sandwich
post-Moses,
a two parter.

I would like to
share a smile with a stranger,
more not knowing what to do when our overrated
paths cross
before this squid ink becomes
a leaking biro to stain a jean pocket.

And roll the squid
into contortions
of sushi,
in the House,
its heritage staircase,
when square topiaries are rooted outside by volunteer angels
and gardeners, behind us,
where we didn’t
miss each other.

All the inter-city passengers turned to comparisons with jelly,
watching things pass downwards
slowed inwards by fear.

The giant octopus,
could take the yellow bus for a petal,
wave it around a bit,
wonder what you are
as your body slides
from one traveller to another,
in the joy of being safe and alive,
passing through ghosts
collecting pocket change and
puzzle books
to the sound of my
trying-to-be-kind.

The problematical Enigma machine of sums
for the mathematician I’m not.
Adverse to cutting the wires of a bomb
though he must;
apparently the blue.

The machine
that in a spot of frustration,
the American Ensign says is “busted”,
under sea level,
with the last double bass player on a cruise ship
not to float.

Curl a cup around my suckers,
to drink the bitter saltwater,
and I just might be the spirit of an octopus,
and just as envious of a wash-cloth.

I can just imagine a chorus line of
us octopuses
high-kicking in a Studio System musical,
but useless in our hallway,
where we hang up our coats.

These are the notes, that the angels,
have me writing in margins
of a remake’s screenplay:

before I say something like “Rosebud”, or perhaps “donut”
there is never anything wrong with a donut,
as a reward
instead of an octopuses’ punishment for being alive,
instead of food that won’t go quietly.