The forecast was dry, <5% chance of precipitation | Is it chaos? I don’t know | Later, I checked the forecast again | and it said 40% chance of precipitation | and I wondered | where had that ~35% come from | in an hour or so? | We put the dogs in the car | the parasol, the gear | placed our faith in the <5% | listened to old Stones’ songs on the CD | kept the top down | and circus kind of drifted in | the fire-eaters and jugglers and clowns | and the sign of Gemini | clouds of blow by Panama | diffused through Ecuadorian cocoa, Chilean wine | dried fish from Peru | the beach seemed so far away | suddenly | the churches toy | in the distance | liberty | the hippie dream | our frayed and washed-out jeans | our minds creeping down | from Swiss chalets and precision engineering | to stubble and lingerie | long after time | narcóticos | retrogression | crepuscule | and the deep, wide, desert AWOL days | the loss of reason and of purpose | and, towards the end, the mute | obdurate ringing | of the hollow bell | of Rimbaud’s right shoe | sounding in my ear | my ear laid to the floor | is it chaos? I don’t know | Who does?

And the fire-eaters were kind of cool | one had these strange tattoos | of writhing dragons | chrysanthemums | waterfalls | she looked sad | when she stood aside | after the act | not bored by her world | but penalised by living | but tired | but caring, but | uncaring, too | Glancing into space | where was she looking? | Into her problems, I guessed | and I imagined | she was a lot of history | not so much | present | that was what made her | seem so melancholy | and I thought | you could lose a planet in her gaze | or in the gap | between her gaze and yours | lose two | lose more | Calm and | undemonstrative | she didn’t say much | when her laugh came | it was quiet and brief | but sounded genuine | perhaps she only had | one of those sad faces | and she wasn’t sad at all | not really? | On the dresser | in her room | there was a vase | with white chrysanthemums | the chrysanthemums | tattooed on her skin | were also white | A damp evening | motorbikes parked on the grass | the turf cut up to runnels | tracks of Shinkos and Continentals | marking the field with python diamonds | embossed in gleaming mud | it was late April | cold at night | cold in the morning | below average temperature | I’d say | radiance from the trailers | made the steel and chromium gleam | This town of mine | felt like a blank date | in a diary | a sequence of blank dates, in fact | where the only thing to write | beside the phase of the moon | or note that it is Hannukah or St George’s Day | is “Nothing”

•••


from the series fp2 (on-going sequence of poems, commenced 2016)

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