Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Inside the Whale

The great dental scurf of your molars
trawls lichen and krill and moss.
I am used to the dough smell, the tired yeast,
the fragrant fart of seaweed fermenting,
the Diaspora of scales
flitting by my feet,
trying the edges in tired waves,
again and again and again.
They make sounds like breath,
And stir a memory of leaves.

I used to climb your teeth,
Go rock pooling in their
Rotten crevices,
Tread carefully about the yellowing edges,
Slip on green dredges of plaque.
I have no time for that now.

Your name is for
Junk ships and the plunk
Of sinking pots
Into water
To out-pour
The overflow.

In the monsoon
cabbage leaves drift
like petticoat flotsam
against your knees.
Rotten fish flow
through the streets.
The power cut
Leaves roads
Black and wet
The drains
Full of paper
And pulp.
We eat soft glass noodles
Limp by the light of
A halogen lamp,
Haunted by the
Call of the siren
And the rasp
Of the water-logged
Gargling through the water.

Soft sound plugged,
Pitched high,
Like the staccato rickets
Of geese
At the moon
Just as sensible
And slow moving
As Oriental porn.

An alphabet of fence posts,
An alphabet of
Pick up sticks,

Your name is for
Whale guts,
Goat’s blood
And rice wine,
The chew of the
White intestinal
The hum of
The cockroach
Numbed by diazepam,
Under feeble bulbs
As dark as the
Moon glow.

I sit inside you
At the heart of your lake
At the arch of your neck
In the dome of your throat
Basilica cupped
And ribbed in the
High reach of your diaphragm
That touches with gargantuan love
The Delphic breach of your pelvis.

And I do not know what to do.

I am prey to the curious lunar
tug of your sleep patterns,
have forgotten day and night.
know only tides
spelt out by the starry phosphoresce
of shrimp
and sea horses.
And the tuba buzz of your snore.

In your sleep,
Your are one big wheezing harmonica
The great bulge of your B-flat stomach
Burps Yiddish protuberances,
Vov, Kof, Yud, Daled, Giml.
A phlegm ridden alphabet
Of whale parps.
And I dream of organ grinders,
Hot water bottles,
Tough rubber
And the London Underground.
Captain Mannering’s marching band
Red faced, ready for a nap.

Ha-noi I miss the earth,
I cannot remember a time before motion.

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