When The Bell Became The Ogive.
The bell curve moves
by sleight of hand
(forgotten since) to cause
our idealised descent.
Seized and thrown,
with paupers and thieves,
from this transcendent
zenith to the scrabbling
pit far below, where demons
loosed in matching frequency
tear our difference; push, rush,
shovel into howling mouths not
caring if their own or other. They
reach and grab for this resisting
and compliant variance with fire
hands and when it pushes out,
serpenting between their teeth
in uninformed vigour, they force
it back into our split cells, into
the multiple helix of our destiny,
to shape our bodies with their
ogive quantified regurgitations;
the vehemence of their rage,
with the necessity of this
return, slashing their reason
through into their belief.
(On reading Lennard Davis' Enforcing Normalcy.
The historical information presents stimulating ideas)
to Hermoine Lee talking of Edith Warton and thinking, too, of
What if your personal has been
so incessantly stripped away and stripped away;
claimed by others as their right to access and appropriate,
It is not enough to write,
to claim your own ownership to the persona, to your personal.
This just gives breath to the voyeuristic.
This just places us as the unthinking and untheorising personal
unnamed, unhistoried, uncannoned, unworthy of due intellectual
Rows of cars settle on anchored grids;
grass rising, as intended, through hexagonal spaces.
A ripening light reflects
to unobserving banks across the way.
Christian Aid have organised a walk,
whilst others amble their less formal afternoon.
observe the reservoir with watercolour to
wash near sky and water.
“Look, that little girl’s watching us.”
I stall, reluctant to leave colours
pooling in minute ridges, papery fawn
the texture of peanut shells; spring starting
yet like late August stubble.
Then, as the light moves on the water,
reflections shape to hearts and dividing cells.
Glancing, I see a child;
tight trousers wound
round sturdy legs;
dark hair curved in
two plump brushstrokes.
Her short coat’s pulled,
surrounds that solid stance
only the youngest have,
whilst her hand twists freely
within her parents grasp.
They face the water. She, in reverse
direction, watches us; turns fully
an open stare as we, taking
our turn, return her look from
behind our windscreen.
“Down’s Syndrome; you don’t often see a child
with that today.”
I don’t see well but now I see rows unborn,
curved to cover their look, protect,
Cocoon curled corpses wrapt like wasps nests;
an alien scene disregarded.
Their ghosts not even rippling our consciousness
in it’s aborted cure.
Looking out clouds reassemble,
the gloriously imperfect copy
The scene is less.
Her hand turns in me,
twists it's grip in my
Lovely children, yours and mine,
not walking the world with us.
The intelligence of sheep
Two sheep cantered down the road, as if late,
staying near the verge.
The younger straggling the elder by half a body
or, keeping close,
tender look to loin. Then, at the crossroads,
to stand in the purple shadow of the wall
with the others
leaning in a line against cool stone
Keeping lamb cool
Yet where else could they run to?
Days are written across my back,
early morning and yesterday. The day before
down my arm, across my ribs
each in turn, tense,
stretched with breath until I prefer
Some days, last week, last year stretch
the length of thighs, pulls down round
groin to knee; a relapse of memory
yet sharp, no, dull and grooved, buried deep.
My neck joins in the discourse; one side
I could have been not here
or sitting ragged in the dark,
raped each day and tapped,
rapped about the head and
neck for the whim of a dis-
regarded onlooker, who
locked the doors.
Untaught, without a thought
or revising experience sleeping
still. Re-named each day or
by the hour, unkempt, sifting
through your consciousness,
abstracting myself for pity’s sake.
Oh to write in this darkness.
How far will it reach? How to
move back into the blue and more,
how to be discreet?
Meals on the table. Spaces
kept to their discretion and functionality.
The Artist fixes
his freak in
cows and lilies
failing this he
casts in marble
I am not ABLE
not able to slap sharp marks across the legs of a child
not able to clench a fist knock pattern into skin
not able to punch with relentless force break ribs claim love
not able to kick the delicate skull of the youth lying on the
not able to pull a trigger with dedication
not able to feel flesh reverberate as blade enters
not able to embody power as desirable
this "ABLE BODIED" they all say
so what is this oh so Able body they all say
(Thoughts earlier and listening to an arrangement,
by Villa-Lôbos, of Bach knowing the solid
feel of memory is not immutable.)
We Never Met but
I was alive when he was.
His age stretching me back
to before I was and
who reached for him yet
turned to catch the earlier grasp
And then, when these people
older than you start
to die and their connections
with vital notions
your own vital reality rubs
to show our bone is dust
We Are Not Uniquely Alive.
of leaves settling in original time,
threshold blossoming wide, wild and wilder
We beset the threshold, raggedly
a queue formed, cross layered on
the brief path before the doorstep,
an engaging shadow, splintering
My disparate body blurred heat across the day,
a description not the desolation,
the threat blossoming like the creep of damp or
flowers fresh piece-worked on a day long gone.
The pain tress' brush sharp spring to those soft tips,
set square for a naturalistic reinforcement.
The shelter of a limen threshold tile lined like lead,
in a not to turn doorway, opens to static
authenticity and shine stretch bags,
filled with white elephant life, in a rush,
aspiring yet not released vitality.
A slow carpet, stone-stop green,
cluttered with character features,
their passionate choice.
Like sin, private, personal, primordial?
Leaving the dark hippos, shine wedged in shade,
no rising or setting, we move deeper,
settle to a cool subterranean route.
In and under the light lessens, none.
A stray voice indoctrinates a succession of rooms.
This pressure a weight, yet buoyant in discussion,
school mates, these almost boys-
one going to agenting others estates, the other to development.
With sleight of hand he tosses 'original fittings' to him,
dropped as inconsequential, or sly market subterfuge.
i'm shy at my first time.
Movement wraps constant sound,
murmurings of values and plans,
played and placed, but the someday spirit
had proved unprosperous and yet,
relatives laughed here, a homecoming, a house warming,
subconscious worth, pieces of so many periods.
Then ambitions' smooth surface,
shredded and re patched in this despairing paper room.
Sound conjured unsettled through walls,
crayon windows erased inside,
memory pattern raps at glass,
cold splintering this tight terraced house,
set with authentic features, sharp evolutions
doorstep stop the folded empty rooms.
My body blurred heat across the day, disparate functioning.
Whistling of leaves settling in original time,
threshold closing, like our dispersing queue,
disengaging the shadowed boundaries
The land slips its curve through my movement,
falls to a crawl in translated motion,
cuts through my foot, feathers my hand to a fan.
The sky is measured in the sound of
vapour trails and receding branches
Cars paso doble their double right turn,
in a tight, marked, arena. Clenching
a rose between its teeth, the motorbike
tangos around their taut waiting,
in a close, slant, curve. We, a light
strained audience bemused,
appreciate this danger in the night.
The sun re-roots, reflected down the train
life is living me
rushing, slowing down the track
memories and other illusions
sidetrack to a knowing mind
and earlier she saw the sun setting,
watching through the back of my head.
waiting children stretch their time
bend suddenly daylight
in bright folded afraid spaces
white splash the leaves
A wayward child ate
the mother's handbag,
snapped it off at the
shoulder. It contained
papers, purse, a pen,
which had never written.
The child reached up to
her neck, at the nape a sigh,
laced fingers clasp her throat
Grasping a hand she realigns,
from choker to loose chain,
hauls to a secure position
flying on her shoulders.
Green In Grey In Green.
Rural Ghetto, Urban Ghetto;
Perfect sky, light chasing shadow across time,
across history in russets, purples, golds and berry blues;
soft fleece, worn paths, tumbled walls;
fells and moorlands stretch;
a once majestic wilderness still;
rough heathlands, leafy hollows, luscious pasture;
woodlands mixed, forests single,
erupting beyond the surety of history,
construed by domesticity and markets,
attempts to capture long defeated;
trembling rivers, sudden streams;
cumulous landscapes reflected or storm strewn lakes,
no technique of wash and scummble repeats,
though each one try;
no photographic toner, all the greens evade;
grassy banks, sweep of hillside,
a verdant, green, house;
coppice, marsh, sweet meadowland;
fields rape yellow lengthening to bright black;
clouds hour glass rain on distant valleys, dry here;
steel power strides ridge after ridge, staking the high ground;
brushwood stubbles and beards a motorway cutting;
here, in twisted, misted, misled time,
boys eternally light matches in their lunchtime,
row upon row, flames quickly flicker out-die.
Even in it's watching our vision lets go,
memory blurred in the moment of sharpness.
Imperfect shadows haunt these incongruous architectures;
age charcoals brick, concurrently youth red or cream;
sunbeams cobweb bleak granite; ice skates sandstone;
saints eponym place with virtue;
manufacturers toponym space with trade benevolence;
CHARITABLE; ESTABLISHED; FOUNDED;
INSTITUTION; CRIPPLAGE; STONE LAID;
1749; 1807; 1840; 1963. text carves more than
landscapes: 'Founded,' 'Established,'' so solid, solid -
words rake such high moral ground - contained;
(No room here for allowances nor romance; abandon an uninformed,
uniform history; relinquish 'dedication' bind with 'sentimental'
thought alone inform.)
earlier, flesh still washing or not, noses running or not,
hair growing and cut, these site a priory, convent, monastery,
nuns, monks, walking the corridors,
keys echoing at their belts,
still stalking our memories - Ancient;
(ANNEXED; NEW BLOCK; 1985; 1991; 20--;),
new and old;
clean, clean cement laid by local dignitary, distant royalty;
trowels, hard hats;
plaques unveiled, plainly, elaborately dedicate
to latest monarchs, corporate, leading their high
moral ground, expecting subjection,
pastoral idyll; arcadia; a host of golden ..
Did that landscape, England's green and pleasant,
enfold in this lush plenitude these sites?
("Instituo : to establish, found, institute.
Iinstituo-ui-utum : put in place, begin.
Iinstituta apostolica : canon law.
Institutio : custom, institution, tradition.")
Did that mise en scene, England's green and unpleasant, enfold
in it's luscious profusion these institutions stark in concept
whatever form they're garnished with; this imprisoning
landscape breath infamy, year for un-natural year
equalling that age of institutionalising?
Where baby lashes brush the static air in too early morning wakening.
Ceiling touch floors. Later, as before yesterday, adult eyes
close on rolling hills, mobius time, the ceiling cornered.
("(c) Anything forming a characteristic and persistent
social or national life or habits." "institution,
establishment - an organisation founded and united for a specific
- Occupation -
Ah yes, this institution (repeat, repeat, rater-tat-tat)
nestling in the rolling green;
ensconced beyond tall treed avenues,
where each leaf in the sylvan scene,
each blade of green sword might mark
the individual testimony, yet of course they don't,
the legion of any leafy grove would not suffice to represent,
falling far, like distant rain grass, far, far short of representation.
This baby, return, turn, echoed time back.
This child and this, another, other. Woman, man, repeat,
repeat, pitter, patter grief. All embedded here,
always here, non match their banal endurance.
Absent choice, even for imagining but what can we imagine -
the green hill, just far enough
away; the pastoral sepulcher;
wall on green wall; idyllic burial mound, life entomb;
a scene earthy not above, no paradise.
Between rows graves forever green appear;
this sod laid, relaid, rock by rock retold,
all that testify. We complicit, continuing,
A bank strewn with wild thyme blowing;
grass dappled by a bright sun,
see it's worn golds outside passion graves,
the land in running grass.
Charity fawn with a small reality
the sepulchre residence,
settling history to earth the scattering;
sky stretch the ridge of children,
never a moral land, nor moral time,
this Charity an early start on corporations;
boys eternally light matches in their lunchtime, row upon row,
flames quickly flicker out-die, England's lost boys,
Green In Grey In Green;
Rural Ghetto, Urban Ghetto.
my arms burn,
skin tight, taut bones
flake and crumble like spit
from a dry mouth
He laid the table with boredom
spread the malicious cloth
our energy not even briefly flaring
we glided into individual worlds
and so the Christmas meal proceeded
occasionally broken by hastening waiters
whose eyes I met in soft look or sharp absence
beatific forgiving forgiven
raucous with distraction
the worms crawling up the marathon runners leg cramps in the
pounding at the wall pushed in a bath by the fancy dressers
attending a gala dance romance and sex spilling over their raffle
tickets auctioning off that gift from the local pub will it
draw the punters like holidays from the high street travel agents
get the sponsors names right in the local rag oh no it's the
competition the multinational corporation cuts the ribbon on
the plaque washing powder lays the first stone watch that trowel
don't muck up his suit hand him the wellingtons and hard hat
good perhaps for the tv tonight will it make national coverage
we've lobbied oh well midlands today south east now worth the
outlay a relief all round the accountants worth their weight
in gold singing a concert hrh here will I return next year the
celebrities knickers washed or worn the fans want to know still
collectors pay and the worms still crawl nothing left
raucous with distraction
beatific forgiving forgiven
A distinct girdle, band of colour, a raised spiral line
medical make me, relate me,
with my body long stretch in lines of your names, latin inscribed
scripting into an eternity, replicating, prescribe, proscribe
latin inscribed plundering my, not relaying my
desires to fit the desires of you,
vialed and spread statistically healing your life
into your hands I am recommended
into your hands
"No stop there, we're bringing another bed through after this one"
white slippage -
internal not imagined
yet not not imagined -
internal experienced as -
external experienced as -
not as perfection - not as their perfection - not as your perfection
slipping into crumpled.
A human cell has a face, to be recognised,
to influence - This face, his face, though, remains
cockle, fold or
human feeling, translucent
stages of pale A
pain or memory
Bombard with heavy
Explode heavily flashed
scrunch, crunch, thud, space
with a loud dull noise a
on axis now
A deactivated face, pushed
by whom deactivated but
"Meaning is not forwarded as something existing out in the world
but as an interaction between subject and object."
no interaction with face
movement of muscles,
swinging the metal frame
through narrow design
design where the
human is also missing
sinews replacing -
placed crosswise -
to mark with a (Anatomy) commissure
"but it is only some movement"
"one of our objectives in bombing them was to"
he slipped beyond recognition
slipping beyond recognition