They wanted to study me,
They entertained me
Sifting my blood for desire
Distilling my fear,to a stain.
All in the hope that would find
The foundation beneath every freckle,
Or learn from the lesson a hair makes
When it attaches itself to the ground.
They enveloped my muscle with fluff,
And papered my mouth for saliva.
Measured my heart and proceedures
As they harvested the hairs from my chest.
Or on the knuckles,or toes
Or those that often stand to attention
Once the thrill is caught,
in the nostril
Or at the very base of the spine.
On my nipples I felt the electric dance
Of stunned moment,
On the lobes of my ears,
And my scrotum,
Which was successfully squeezed,
Then inscribed. In fact,my ball-sack blushed round
Became a nut,or as shell like
As the murdered snail curled in
The stuttering egg yolk of home.
They asked me questions.
They read the racket and rules of the riot.
Showed me films of old people
Indulging in acts since described.
They showed me that calm traitor,flesh
Who always deceives,never pleases
Revealing in a flash such defilement
That no-one of faith could conceive.
There were men there who swore,
Often at me,
Men who asked me
Men with long faces,
With hairier friends, who were round.
Already middle aged, middle England,
Who sat in rooms with me,
Their wretched smoke
I gave them all nothing.
I will never give into defilement.
What I believe inside has been tested
On every mile I walk
On this road,
Along every path,
In every tree
In each passage,
Beside Canals which flex, eager
For the kiss of boats to intrude.
They plucked my feathers.
They brought me a Priest in a bottle.
I sat in rooms with grown women
Who had met people like me as a child.
I witnessed their coffee and tears,
Their tea and years of abasement,
And yet inside I felt nothing,
Prefering to stay
As they glared
And cornered the dust on the ceiling
I was a moth lost to feeling
As the God in the filament burns.
I witnessed the clench
As a bone is locked into crisis,
And soon found myself,drowning
In a swollen ocean of clothes.
I was the name they gave me,
The Knight it seems of no table,
The one for whom honour
Is there in it’s taking away.
Instead, they removed it, like blood
By siphoning off every moment;
The level set,soon diminished
By the greedy guts, boiled from fact.
Hours passed. Days.
And yet I would always turn,
Just like a Chrysalis,
In a final twist,
I became an idea,
Or perhaps to them, an example
Of the way to be Satan
In the Agnostic heart of most men.
I was a Church to myself and beside myself
Smelt the Graveyard,
The dead grown like roses
From their permanent
Flowers of stone.
I felt the Dead come to be,
Meeting my gaze,like eye water.
The way that a tear forms,
Or first word
On a date.
When you meet people, it’s hard
To distinguish yourself, or to witness
What makes the man somehow better
Than the insect caught in the field.
For we all trudging away
Across a terrain unencountered,
It is for each of us to discover
The particular ways we might be.
They found nothing.
Catching a bus
To my Village,
Stopping at once at the Butchers
For a pound of fresh
And then, to the Pub
Where I ordered myself
Half a Guinness,
Savouring the taste of adulthood
As a fly might bob around shit.
The drink seemed to fill me far more
Than any other drink of that nature,
Or of that size, half a Guinness
Could as well have been
Half the world.
Or perhaps the storm found in tea
When old women huddle at tea cups
Or when the rain falls in daggers
To puncture their plump cottages.
Guiness, like oil
And Alcohol, to remind me
Of Oh so many changes
That nobody warned me of.
The curse of drink’s not the drunk
But the way it removes you from sweetness,
The trouble is drinks’ sad replacement
For a universe of spilt milk.
From the clouds which once came
And from the early tastes I remember,
From the swill and swirl
That comes before pleasure starts.
Before consequence, blame
And the basic distance of people,
Before knowledge blossoms
And you are still innocent.
The state of blankness.
The claim of both the numb
And the Neutral,
The work of the
Just what it wants you to be.
And the song of blood, never ending
Which often sings badly
Once the true words are lost.
Near to my house is a train
That runs all the way
To a river
When my journey ends I will tell them
What this life is like between tides
For what water divides
Is what runs between people
Diving the truth and false reason
As easily as the right.
What is left separates the treasured darkness
The reasons for war,spite,and Envy,
And our final cause
It is how we will die,spitting or snagged
In our fashion,
Clutching without breath at targets
Never attempted before.
All that I do becomes brave
If I consider at hand
This last torment
And the pain I feel achieves
As soon as your gaze turns away.
In the silence which comes
I will have made for myself a new language
Which I can divulge in sparse whispers
To someone like you,in a chain.
I am everything
I am the capturer, and the Castle
Which the forces storm first
I will have fled.
I will be one with the wind,
Or the patch of sky, moving slyly
Seeking the sun before fading
In the hunger advance of the moon.
I will become unknowable,
I, alone with the cloud, will soon blister,
And circulate,to strike quickly
Separating like rain.
I am the weather. The force.
The way that the world begins turning.
We are all of us people
Capable of anything.
Attuned to darkness,we rise
Just like the hopes held in fire.
I will buffet storms.
You will feel me
Stealing it all, with a smile.
Illustration Elena Caldera