DOMESTIC COMEDY

The real thing is the thing that is not there.
As I walk in the room, my mother walks out.
The real thing is the thing that is not there.
As I start to speak, someone else coughs.
The real thing is the thing that is not there.
As I crack my knuckles, no one worries.
The real thing is the thing that is not there.
As I pick at woodchip, my mother hoovers.
The real thing is the thing that is not there.
As I turn each page, the telly is turned up.
The real thing is the thing that is not there.
As I flick channels, my sister pummels the sofa.
The real thing is the thing that is not there.
As I chew my lips, I make the clock tick louder.
The real thing is the thing that is not there.
As I cut a hole in his paper, my father laughs
The real thing is the thing that is not there.
As I carry on smiling, we all carry on smiling.





WHERE THINKING GOT ME

It was ideas cut my chest tight.
The dusk sang me ragged,
wrang me dry as salt.

Hollow backed with hunger
I held the face in the mirror
steady, simple as a toy box,

while I sweat myself some air.
Three deep sweet breaths
made my young neck flush

when some sudden consolation
wrapped me in papier mache,
delivered me into stereo,

then made me run everything
I'd ever done again, backwards,
all the way home.





CULTURAL REVOLUTION
for Howard Slater & Jim Burns

From Manchester Howard brought
Ann Charters' Kerouac biography,
a Crispy Ambulance single
and the first seeds of dissatisfaction
with major chords. He lent me
Fred Engels in Woolworths

which made even Stockport
sound like a newly fashionable
arrondissement on the left bank.
The warehouses by the canal
had only just been gutted
by unseen hands of capital.
Huge metal chains hung down
from rusting beams in monochrome.
The doors were cracked wide
and railway tracks led calmly to echoing spaces.
We wrote poems about the tenderloin
and lobsters in parks for six months,
gave up Deepdale for the cafes,
tilted our heads to parallel
the fifties sugar pourers in Brucci's.
From there, it was only a matter of time
before we were playing the bass
with the side of our thumbs, dubbing
flat vowels onto The Parallax View
,
making strange connections
where there was only hope.
The deterritorialization
of the Flag Market and Europe's
biggest bus station is yet to occur.





RETURN

'It is better to be in love with your wife
than to be in love with your poetry'
     - Toma Markov

1.
air like a lump in the throat
in this dark haired city
if a horse could lay pumpkins
they'd be like those piled high
on market stalls at Sitnyakovo
and I'd be full of ginger carrying
my swollen heart home to bake

2.
This is a long fever, secret like a wish,
pale as you and flowers in its miracle heat.
It is close to mute, and lies snug in our palms in the dark.

So quietly new is it even now a breath might break
to talk of heart, hope, and then hold still
while our blood runs hot again,

guessing how every dry afternoon would feel
if this flush didn't warm the air,
didn't catch us falling into balance.

3.
Of many parallel worlds
I choose this one.


    Mark Robinson 2005