empire of Marmite

IMG_0951

lacking, as has so

often been impressed

on me

 

the salt of the earth

I languish here

at the end of Xmas

 

resembling one of

those final men

who will exist

 

after everything

the no-clue men

in no-men’s land

 

listening so hard

as if the self was merely

a filter for it

 

to Shostakovich’s

rare 8th Symphony

– the anti-Stalinist timpani –

 

after folding two slices

of Sainsbury’s wholemeal

into halves like

 

a butterfly print

to supplement the salt

I require as

 

an unravelling

wanderer in

confusing temporality

 

the Russian project

after its Modernist

phase gathering

 

the dense

entropy – retreating-

due to

 

the usual

ever-predictable

territorial over-stretch

 

just like Ur, old

Babylon (a stellar place

to be on a Friday night)

 

or America itself

too thinly spread

those imperial forces

West Street

IMG_2090

In the Brighton

West Street Odeon

Costas franchise

 

the three-piece

family to my left

– a mother and two kids –

 

quite calm before

some animated

candy-floss maybe

 

and the sea the

colour of blue

jade on a Chinese

 

Emperor’s ceremonial

armour, visible

shifting its surface at the

 

plate-glass window

past the counter,

while I read R.S. Thomas

 

– and he takes a

pretty bleak view of

our human prospects –

 

between his poems

emphasising the

extreme brevity,

 

checking the

Grindr App for

no-strings meets or

 

possibly more,

the selection of men

apparently endless.

Coastal Puppets

2. anthropocene

Walking across

the corroded

car-park concrete

 

between the

Worthing Station

and the road

 

I come to the

peaked block

of low-rise flats

on the corner

 

which that pub

since demolished

once occupied

 

and remember

working there

employed by the dealer

in Es, speed and acid

who used to

manage the bar

 

and we were

having a lot

of sex, running around

 

the deserted

hotel corridors

above the pub

laughing and tripping

and playing games

 

and now

I’ve passed

there, walking

along a

row of shops

with lorries

to my left

grinding seriously

elsewhere

 

and in one of

the shop windows

a group

of marionettes

is set up, their

jointed

 

limbs lank

from strings

wide awake eyes

mouths grinning

as I pass

like the memory

of acid.