Off the Books
    (from Warrant Error)

A tall man came to their door an
Instance of polite rendition

She was in a loose dressing gown he
Could see a strap it was
The wrong hotel between the killings

Kaleidoscope reassembled history
Moved 'inevitably' towards
Warrantless wiretaps and zap the road
To Damascus was shelled every day

He stuck his fingers in a bag of salt
Zawahiri had them shot filmed it
Following a script
Provided by their enemies they dropped
Leaflets on fields of perfumed martyred corpses

Self-protection was self-consumption scared
Or sacred it's eased into the holiest story
A sonnetized account with the biggest screen test

Local colour was masked by raw
Overheads and the heresy was mere hearsay
When evidently witless their mouths agape they rose
At bungled bugle-blasts jamming Agape and Eros

In the ballad of the blade she bites him
Obliged attack he shoots mightily back in
Terror or error she tries to send the message
From compassion back to passion
She writes releases for rouged regimes

When she's finished she pulls the plug
And he spills the viscous liquid for her

Lots of policemen ran to their door the spies
Who didn't come in from the hot-tub wore
Rucksacks as something foaming fell to the floor
Chemicals chapatti flour and shrapnel

She rose from the bed adjusted her tactics
She was candid about her emotions the ones
She had and the ones
She didn't this peroxide was used in my bleach
She said there can be no freebies or friendlies

The city huddled the neighbours close
Pity is a sentiment
I hugged to myself

The purpose of shrapnel was to increase
Fragmentation and rapid reaction with a gob on it
He sensed they held the toothpaste in common

There was another town within adjusted cause
Let us reword the world around it so
What the 'groom' couldn't name his fiancˇe
He was born Trevor Something in Hackney
We squeezed in bombing time before Ramadan

I saw a house fly up in the air
it was good
To tickle in that nice little liberal enclave

They're only up for stripping paint ahem

If I sit here I will commit sins
Cars furred with frost purred round the corner

Mohammed turned so his rucksack was facing
A mother and her child he was amazed he
Couldn't believe it he was still there
Mute intervention in good old new moon Europe

They scoured the news and erased the story
The liar the witness and the lawyer

The hand that mocked us scarred
Or scared soured the newscasts
Their oblique attacks now roar overhead
The naives are restless during the rapid raids

Compassion is one of the passions
After a regular
Tory system of lower tax nothing beside remains

Species solidarity and its dispersal
In this borrowed shell function as love but
This is the real thing as she
Bends towards him
Not to be unworthy of what happens to them both

Pity spouts spectral behind the mask we're all
Variations on the great unknowable theme she says
Natality is the eruption of politics once
Beyond the jamming you're a ragged fist of flesh

Lustful lustrations pour half-cups for her
Spilling boundless and bare the vernal
Promise of her bucking legs under his tensing arm

This unfurls a light tickling a slight
Feathery ethos while neural
And neutral in local greyscale our leaders
Leak their large-scale verbal promises and
O bleak attack of global colour

She transcends mess and message ogles her own raw
Presence and says
some guys just disappeared off the books

          © Robert Sheppard 2008