My sleepless one, I’m sending you green tea
across the time-lines. Drink for a well-being effect.
I chiselled a bar of soap into a figurine. A figurina.
How’s life between backwards forwards hands?
How’s life in dirty water my sweet figurina?
I scraped the last grain of soil from my mouth,
been crashing a dodgem around the M1,
the newspapers are made of butter, folk
buttering their toast with stories of suicide
bombers dying from paper-cuts. Death by eye-contact.
We’re not allowed to look at each other now,
the army supplied us with goggles.
The air is too cold to breathe,
a man with an aerosol comes round once a week.
The bananas are straight like bean-poles
from the stress. The maps are wrong.
They found the leg of a car mechanic under a car.
The streets tinkle with light jazz rain,
the bus-shelters flicker like holograms.
One in ten people are invisible:
I walked through a woman on London bridge,
I wouldn’t have known but my clothes were silted
with spit and I felt like I’d just been ice-skating.
My best friend got pregnant six times
in the last month, and already her kids have left school
and built their own parking-lot in the heart of New York.
The life expectancy of a fly is one second.
The human brain is dirty and infects the blood
with ‘gongbellchimus,’ a contagious disease that causes
the patient to believe they have a large amount of gold
inside their rib-cage. Rome could now be built
in a day, using lazars, plasticine. Sometimes
I feel like one tiny light-bulb in a huge flashing poster
advertising peanuts. I’ve been avoiding food with additives.
Government officials in dentist chairs wearing face-packs
and reading philosophy. Everyone is toned. Toned hair.
Toned noses. Free mineral juice. They’re calling it ‘The Grand Detox.’
I found a ring on the road, which I put on my hand.
From Oxford Poetry Vol 13 No 1 (Spring 2009)