Tuesday, 10 May 2011


Seated pigeon-proud,
Then prostrate,
Now hunched for hours,

He does his desperate best
To outshit the beer-warped sprawl in his songbook,
Open and held in fat hands.
A Citizen Kane rosebud would do it.

A woman's parasol leans against the oak-veneered door,
By chance creating a triangle shelled by leopard spots,
Reeking of tobacco and Yves Saint Lauren:
Sopping, it is the one audible tap in this bathroom panic.
True pathetic fallacy consolidates rainfall
As a souvenir: a passed, tense force.

He imagined he would receive a letter the following morning - the reply he had been waiting for - from Emil Sinclair. He was sure that the words would rise from the paper, magical, unctuous and serious:

"I like listening to music, but only the kind you play, completely unreserved music, the kind that makes you feel that a man is shaking heaven and hell. I believe I love that kind of music because it is amoral. Everything else is so moral that I'm looking for something that isn't. Morality has always seemed so insufferable. I can't express it very well. Do you know there must be a god who is both god and devil at one and the same time? There is supposed to have been one once. I heard about it."

With a groaning squeeze (which itself rises doomed as rumour exaggerated from without)

The capillaries of his existence yell forth names,
At the temple or on the pinna,
Like a hammer of wind through a tree house.
Peer-pressure music-tastes jostle for timber and echo.

Ashamed and obligated to respond,
He sings in borrowed melody:
This is one damn good failure.
It was as though all his life's words had been about cake.

Already he had glanced overboard.
Now he happened, from the edge of plankdom,
To be looking at rough colourless footwear.
Despair is an oceanic invitation
To shit and move and love.

Quotation borrowed from H. Hesse. M. Roloff (tr.). M. Lebeck (tr.). Demian: The Story of Emil Sinclair's Youth (New York: Bantam Books, 1970), 84.