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Tin Dust, Tin Cry by Andrew Mears

Wye water: afloat, the slow saddening music 

Of splendour breathes sweet obeisance and blooms.

I frame the night-river—the burnished cord—not wanting the soundtrack at all.

Those finishing salmon, their jackets of tin dust in suspense, 

Dab at the water-lamps, noble and sick. They wait—

As singly as their queuing teeth—drink free, swallow marbles: the subtle hold of life. 

They are the poets of a ballast-light, loading 

Their spring-eyed joy on tomorrow. And one, then another, 

Another capsizes—stormless—drifts along the heavenward calendar.


Some flat in Oxford: dabbing weed, the high saddening music of impulse, 

Seeds the course of powder-stuffed soloists mid-drain of their thoughts’ tin cry.

I frame the party—friends fucking everywhere—not wanting the soundtrack at all.

Their brows hang on sun-lines, frail, in suspense—

Each summer more severe in their threads—half-settled over pint cans;

Their pop-tab's blank abyss and, singly, they swallow marbles: the naked hold of life. 

They are the poets of taken down mirrors, de-silvering; 

Of coat buttons that break apart as—static—they sprint from creation’s groan without; 

Of digging rare earth till they wake stood in graves: squares on the heavenward calendar.


Andrew Mears is a writer and musician based in Bristol. Across disciplines, his work has appeared in PN Review, Modern Art Oxford and the Institute of Contemporary Arts, among others.


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