Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Crossing Puddles

Crossing Puddles cover art by Kevin Dooley
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A short extract from Karla Merrifield's foreword

"Some poems lean toward the lyrical, some toward the narrative. On one page an elegy, on another an acrostic. A trio of prose poems turns up. One poem, The Horizon of the Poplar Trees, is bilingual. Running Cows delights with humor. You never can tell who or what will show up on the next page."

An extract previously published in Flutter Poetry Journal, December 2012

Keeping Couched

Behind the red leaves of the tall tree, hiding me from business,
between the TV set and the iridescent five-headed lamp floor,
caresses and feathers, blue wool blanket, dreams of conquests,
for all I know, heroes and foes disappeared long ago.

Many poisons used to help me open doors – spiritual, suicidal –
through which the dark demons descended the padded staircase,
billowing in my skull, floating around the grey inner fence of my head,
the shed sheltering all the gorgeous nightmares, anthracite clouds.

Evaporating under the breath of more dragons that came and sang in unison.
The sulphur perfumed choir blew flames and cinders on my neck,
they decked my skin with scars and bruises, tattooed and wrecked
the last remains of light angels had brought like specks ages ago.

Another extract published in Pyrokinection, November 2012

Concrete Stairs

Smoking outside again, sitting on the concrete stairs descending into dad's garden,
the grey clouds covering the sky, invading my sight, some wind blowing on my face,
suffering the cold and damp weather in the Norman village, this jail I fled from years ago,
I watch the moss covering the wall, the weeping tree opposite the house
I hear the ducks quacking their ludicrous laughter as if one of them just slipped or performed
a dance like one used to sing in the eighties. I remember the red sleeve, the stupid tune.

These memories will be the end of me, the final step taken before I fall into madness,
complete, total, absolute, inevitable.

The first fall occurred some thirty-five years ago:
a toddler was I, just ready to discover the world.
I could have died the day I fell from the top to the bottom of these stairs;
a bump as big as an egg growing on my forehead.
This must have left me bad scars, bruises,
iincorrigiblebut imperceptible mental inabilities.

Prior to that
they had almost blinded me with forceps – malignancy
they had dumped me on the bare bedroom floor – overtiredness
they had left me in the sharp claws of a drunkard nanny – naivety
they had almost smashed my head against the garage door – absent-mindedness
their dog had nearly wolved me – jealousy.

I have escaped physical harm many times
but do not seem to be able to avoid being slime.