Latitude: 56° 00’ 0.00”N
I pick a hole in my heel, dig out
calloused skin. A moment frozen in
nothingness but the peel of thinned
nerves. I sink inside of it. Into an ill tide
of water sick with a foam, waves curled
like wanton arms. I’m trying to change,
Lord knows I’m trying, but the Lord
made the Octopus master of the deep.
Master of long tentacles, strong
suckers. Some bad luck tales of
molluscs sinking ships. In a night
washed violet the waves breaks as high
as a thrashing horse. Plastics. Blood
lanterns on sopping white. Discarded
wire twisted into hands that grab with a
rottenness that wraps around wrists. A
listless ramp angled upwards from the
sea and slanted towards town. Of
dwellings, its matchbox fires, the
soundest of ignorant slumbers. Sand
beneath fingers. Umber of the body
crawling sideways as a wounded crab.
Battling up and out of myself and
sprung into motionless day. Its cups, an
open book, a white rectangular packet.
Self-Transformation Mood Board
This centrality of question, of lineage. The
gathering up of broken boughs ill- fated to
a crudeness of rooted things. Memories
cradled in the air, how softly plucked to fall
and gathered. Placed by the tall trunk, our
sequestered young mulch.
Albeit a lacquer-less handle. An absent
rake clatters to the floor asking to be
gripped. There are pieces I have taken.
Pieces picked up and mounted in place.
Renovation tutorials that I have read and
re-read. Misunderstandings gently
removed with a low, blue heat.
Rubbing alcohol removes lips. I click into
place a droll mouth. Click together two
white plates of a skull that used to let out
deciduous leaves, a dusking light. A pink
knife handle. Unironic right angle stabbed
into the fat of it, the dry aged flesh.
Embedded as past history spatters in the
hot oil of it’s ludicrous self. I pull out the
blade. Fill a plate with lusciousness. With
the greenery of the fields, golden corn
peeled open, its buttery sunlit kernels. I
open my mouth to taste.
Eternally tied to the geometrics of the
mind. Imprisoned spaces peered into, to
gaze at hollow sockets supremely
scaffolded. My own engineering from chin
to ear to cranium, pulling at the clasp.
And cut wide open, reveals my habit for
collecting teeth. I put a finger inside a dry
socket , just to smell its stink. My body or a
dogs as it runs towards this open hand, a
red mouth grinning with rescinded fangs
before I grab the jaw just beneath.
Withdraw its skeleton from within, and from
the pile make a pelt. Drape the bloody
gown of skin around my shoulders. I howl
as I step outside the ghost of my own
shape, a worn wolfs head spitting into
mirrors once resigned.
For this is all there is and can ever be. I
have slept between the ribs of a deer. Felt
its arrows from the outside in. I will never
be young again. Repeat that to yourself,
and in the fullest of moons I ask- But what
might I become? What I am I now,
Comfortable Room, Some Talking.
Loudness collects in places waiting to be opened. A slow
breathing, like loam loosened around toes, buried feet. The
anticipation of chrysanthemums opening in the sky that rise
up like a cruel hand. The colours are beautiful. The way a
palm squeaks the skin of a balloon as inside all the things
waiting to escape are brought to the boil. I flinch. I am
flinching. A naivety to voices froths from a bottle, froths over
my legs. They are all so loud. Their noise is a dead body on a
lawn. The heightening of greenness throttling the neck, the
head, a sudden clapping of hands. Every year I light more
fireworks just to stare at silhouettes. I tell myself that delay is
just fear of the unexpected and so I hold them in my eyes, feel
the angled grass beneath my soles. The thump of sound
rising up and down again. From the ground across the cold
sky or a cupboard door suddenly wrenched open to stark
shouting. I remove my hands from my ears. Someone talks
about rest. Someone is talking about rest.
Stuart McPherson is a poet living near Leicester, UK. His debut pamphlet Pale
Mnemonic was published by Legitimate Snack in April 2021. The pamphlet Waterbearer was published in December 2021 by Broken Sleep Books. A debut full length collection Obligate Carnivore will be published by Broken Sleep Books in August 2022.