I. first base
One could have all kind of kooky conversation
with the certain combinations of flowers.
Yesterday we talked with rue.
Periwinkle for pernicious wishes.
Daffodil for hello, put me in your pocket.
Arum lily for I’ll cling to your skirts.
Ivy for you’ll choke me for years after I’ve left.
Forget-me-not, did you never realise?
Goldenrod for sniggering into your scratchcards.
Next, high-speed flower arranging,
or, reading the clouds like tea-leaves
f’r’example, modest oblong clouds first
lining up the wholeway horizon-across
and the sky it goes the wholeway round
you’re at the Highline though, where
the vegetation was CHOSEN, yes, to
PAY HOMAGE oh glory BE, to the
wild plants which indeed had colonized
th’abandoned railway, the choochoo trickish
tracks, before it was repurposed, oh!
(to the work, then)
Transcription: this is where the words are written down
Shibboleth: this is where the word is written down
Name: this is where the name is written down
NAME IT!: this is where the name is written down
“secrecy”: this is where the names are written down
Gentle reminder that none of this is any of your business:
this is where there is no discussion.
Excellence and hard work are possible at the same time probably:
this is where there is discussion.
Signature: this is where the name is written down.
The co-signatory was missing from the conference:
this is where the name is not written down
III. two too late
three being two
a list, beginning
my retarded son
I am envied
the shame fell
you disgraced me
terrible times together
drink it over
now we gather
the lost things
my son my
son oh Absalom
Absalom my son
the last time
we were together
you heard me
a broken record
turned against me
a record broken
which makes three
time times time
I am envied
two is three
the unknown code
you my family
the cruellest bones
the necessary marrow
denial with blindness
the heart’s sorrow
for the lost
for the last
for the blistered
for the burnt
for the starving
for the falling
for the hell
for the fun
for the glory
for the money
for the children
for my son
oh my son
the terrible lesson
the fearsome book
the awful page
the last look
Here is the manner, four-
wingèd spite full’f gurning.
The watchman fell at the o’clock
his regret was sounded loud.
Here is the dream. It
churns and circles and curses, it
spits mongrelly teeth, up-
airs them to the cloudless up.
They never sound as loud as when you
don’t speak words at them: they never
are heard more than they’re listened to.
What does it mean, he says, Win — chest — er ?
From Belfast no I don’t believe it with your accent,
you aren’t German? Polish? How d’you come to be here?
I’m staying in The Clink , I am , but I’m, I am a free man.
Why did the cathedral bells ring? for
all Souls’ or all Saints’ ? what was the word ?
Solder, or, the linden tree ?
Yes, he says, I use the darkest charcoal for your eyes.
His art materials spiralled from The Marriage of Figaro,
for example, matching it all, as sort of romantic,
sort of unexpected & spontaneous, sort of unavoidable,
sort of making sure I lost that job, sort of.
Señorita , he says (fivefold flatterer),
Sarah of the good skin,
of the poetic and Biblical name , of the dark, sad eyes
and the gentle lips and the poet’s long thin hands.
From fond España, no, Odessa, he was, and divorced, a
cartoonist of politics who, he studied Holy Art at
(oh, Oh Holy Art!) Milan, Odessa, London, now, on a London bridge.
Writing a poem was the only faithful elephant of the deal.
Nevertheless I loved this person,
just like all the inappropriate
VI. visionary(’s) proposal:
I am just the imaginative cockroach for you.
Our hair will grow still long after short-
term cryogenics. We’ll be refrigerated right?
These decisions must be made and stuck to regard-
less of loss of sealsong, wherever you keep the knowledge –
your guts’ll do.
Not really since your brothers still are dead there, in the
narrative background, historic, in the some-term freezing studio.
The stadium fills with cold undead, unsinging.
The library ’s where we keep tomorrow’s records : many
more dead than have lived a full and, &/ or
Paper skeletons have been chewed
to pieces by once domesticated cats.
Don’t hang them on the
New disturbances will last a century, we are ho-
bblede – hoy in-
to tomorrow spit
spat towards crunch gravel earth spatter crunch.
In an hundred years’ time we two’ll be living oh six days a head.
by Sarah McKee
Sarah McKee lives near a lake in Berlin. She inhales a large amount of comedy. She, too, has an irregularly tended blog: http://www.tumblr.com/blog/gormandgasp. Publications and projects include Metal Magazine (upcoming), Poems Underwater (upcoming), This Recording, The Moth, Blackbox Manifold, Veer, Varsity, Volta, The Harker. Kiez Oper (upcoming), These Carewon Cairns (sound installation, Scott Polar Research Institute), Bonesong (contemporary opera, Carmen Elektra).