Thursday, November 2, 2017

This Is Hell

Scared myself again:
the nail was too sharp, too wet
the blood-trail too thin
and high

and all I wanted
was to drown out the day,
the vile, despicable day
of clowning, cloning,
living every life but mine;
red it down to human size,
human colour.

But red is all we are,
all we
ll ever be:
red is peaceful
red is holy
the river the ferryman winds
is red
the sun is red diluted
the moon under starlight
is red,

which is why black magic
always needs a little blood,
why the office boy
grows roses all over his skin

and why I
m scared today
now the red mouths
are all closed, skin pale as a glass of water.
But last night
I felt nothing, blood shifting
blood pouring
blood planning its escape;

and tonight
ll begin phase two.


Looks like theyve given up
on you; or have you merely
given up on yourself?
Was it your idea to site
a bright red card at the front of
your case notes marked
do not resuscitate leave me
alone? Or did the men
who put their heads together
whisper your name as one
whose hold on life was so fragile
it would do him good to topple
from the bed and wait
like a highwayman for a carriage
that will never come?

Your bones will break
like breadsticks, your blood
dilute to starve your thirst
for the beers, the burgers, the sex
and the surgeries; all the tiny tediums
of your allotted span
mustered like troops parachuted
and pitch-forked
into a war that
s been raging
since the first walker
stole the first breath

and found it dull, uninviting.

And here you are, the latest victim,
kicking his legs like a baby
as the
plane plunges into dense cloud
after the pilot has bailed out.

But perhaps dementia is the
penultimate mercy of this
merciless life; finer not to know
your breathes are spun
on a roulette wheel of ones
and zeros, a centrifuge that divides
death from desire, ego
s need to know
versus the mind
s design
for a benign boredom to scurry it
over the finishing line
with no memory of why the race
was ever worth winning: if it
was ever anything more
than an evolutionary tick
on a long-stopped clock,
a factory of manufactured men
and women falling
from a production line
to be bottled and boxed,
packed in a warehouse
awaiting unplaced orders.

Or only a desire that died
when the first breath polluted
the first sky
and the wise paratrooper
quietly cut his strings.


He needed a prop,
a calling card, and you could
buy five lighters for a pound
from any man on any street,

so fire became his sizzle.
He would sit on the edge
of the class flicking his flame
on and off, loving the sound
of the click more than
the tug of the flame;
cupping it in cold hands
to keep his pet safe from
bad breaths and slammed doors;
a pocket to hide in and whisper
the scream

he never screamed
in three years of igniting;
waiting for a stray laugh
that would hose him down
in bright kerosene.

But no-one laughed. They burned
little fires of their own, and in time
the class cleared and a new one
came, but no-one asked why
he remained. Why he made notes
he burned after class; why a bonfire
prays for rain. Why the years
grew cold and the fuel ran dry;
but still he kept on burning.

The Future Not Now

tomorrows a maybe:
s definitely a
no, I cannot ring
the patient, I cannot
ring anyone,
if Jesus called
d have to wait in line
until the god-given gift
of ASD unties my tongue
and re-attaches it
to my brain

and we return one again
to our regular programming,
a flickering hologram
of a perfect simulation
of an almost-human being

only wishing he could be
more of the dreamer he is
on TV and in books,
the holy innocent
shaming you into a silence
he can only dream

until tomorrows maybe never
turns into a maybe

Dish It Out

You ask me why,
but you dont need to hear
any words I might say.
Just read the letters
cut into my face by the forks
of your fingers, the knives
of your tongues.

You trashed me here;
now leave me to rest, alone
with my kind. You breathers,
you smilers, you good
and godly deceivers: you only
deceive yourselves.

Rabbit Punch

How did round one go?

Not so bad; took a few
stiff shots, a couple
below the belt the referee
never noticed, a gouge
to the left eye, some spit
in the right, tried to jab

but fell a little short:
knocked down twice
but bounced back up
before they could
rush the count,

so who is this guy
m fighting anyway?
When he held me in a clinch
before he bit off my ear

I believe he whispered
he was me.

Ian Mullins

Helpless I do not know if good intentions prevail among the elected, among the appointed, leaving me apprehensive that the fate ...