Dinosaurs of icing sugar, pink and blue, and gelatin, and caramel, in whorls and whirls, candy-striped, plod around the parking lot

The classroom is supershattered | as if a discreet explosion has belled and bloomed | and, in silence, rearranged all the furniture and fittings | and especially the books | into shreds and angles | illicit | bends and tangles | mangling the struts and shards into new formations | glistening among hazy morning sunshine | the concrete floor | littered with the confetti | from a physical wedding | nothing of spirit | left in | but the ghosts’ | wandering

A little boy in the corner | from his eyes | streams of tiny skulls, instead of tears, are falling | they make a small pocketing sound | as they land on the floor | and bounce and spill | rattle and roll | collect an ivory pool | spreading slowly out around his feet | his name will be Ivan | and then it will be Saul | then Terry | then August | When the soldiers come again | their boots will crush these dainty | skulls like sweets | and inside the soldiers | the skulls, each one, will open their mouths and begin to | croon tales of the “old days” | when the soldiers were young | and their mothers | taught them right and wrong

Through the classroom’s window | a ferris wheel | not supershattered | but extant | among the supershattered landscape | even the air is supershattered | Don’t go there | Aren’t you curious?

Obsolete cartoon professors | with huge balloon foreheads | and white beards | in lab coats | carry clipboards | as they drift around | checking the debris | If they could speak | they would speak in fake | German or Russian accents | or maybe be Americans | sound real dorky | but basically | they would be fake Germans or Russians | if they could speak | because this is the Old World | corrupt and stained | fungoid with empire | rotten | toenails in a mouth | ankles where the ears should be | before the march of freedom | before the arrival of CG

No one in the sports hall | no one in the swimming pool | No one in the forest of my empty heart | after dark | but the remains of wolves | phosphorescent and snagged on instinct | heading for the town | to leave tracks with foxes, birds and horses | in the sports hall | the changing rooms | snow on the floor | the showers | is this Heaven?

Big Toy General | in Soviet-style | peaked cap | drifts over the town | watches sweetshop dinosaurs | munching on building tops | and gangs of feral teddy bears | roam the supershattered streets | Wan sunlight | through the winter mists | picks out Big Toy General’s gigantic | shape | his field-grey | uniform | stripes of crimson | down the legs | opera of gilt in candelabra | epaulettes | medals depicting | hearts and stars | violet and purple | yellow and Arctic | blue | Big Toy General | come loose | from his moorings | drifts gently west | and the shy spirits | of all the raped boys and girls | slip out from the supershattered | cafés, offices and houses | and cry “Come back, Big Toy General, we need you | to protect us, please | save us” | He floats | horizontally on | and all we know for certain | is that soon | there will be | cool moonlight falling | on his slickly | polished boots

The Moral of the Story | is hunted through abandoned towns | by skeletons in furs | with sniper-rifle eyes | very old grins | from Empire Fables | of folly and reaping

Wound-up | the President | marches as he must | crunching traffic | in the hallways of his cranium | advisors march smartly with whipcrack steps on cold stone floors | bringing figures on gains and losses | propaganda and the supply | situation | supershattered | clockwork | sounds like early | Detroit techno | and when the President | sleeps | it is like a whispering | clubland

The President | has burnt out paths | to follow | scorched earths | handed down to him | He will be strong | and lead the tumultuous | ghost of his nation | back into its history | of smoke and corpses and ash | Glittering | snakes where | he believes his | thoughts are moving | glide and wind | down the slim | sticks of lollipops | He has never wanted to | murder anyone personally

The hospitals | were ready | now they are | supershattered

The temples | were sanctuaries | now they are | supershattered

The weapons | were primed | now they are | supershattered

Dead children | eat the jelly | snakes | When they are grown up | they will never | let anyone hurt them

 


from the series superstyler (open-ended, 2012–present)
(this poem, September 2014)

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