Half-Conscious Poem


Whispers under sleep
and I fly to the red river

barefoot silken robe undone
shadows on the floor

I see a silver blue-eyed flea riding on a bicycle of dust
a birthday balloon and the long face of death

he has a hooded blacked-out face red daffodil fangs
and whistles the names of the chosen ones.

On the counter different coloured truths
I spy the nose of a gun but can’t be sure

my eyes half closed under a cloud
and yellow fog cocoons me

as I step back: all around
the voices of anger dicing for life

and the right to be seen to be heard
a million and three stories

trapped in Chimera’s rotting stomach.
The light is smothered by the fat thumb of depression

yesterday’s tiny square of sun
shredded and scattered over a stale afternoon.

There is nothing in-between no toothy smile
just those who sit in the nostril of self-satisfaction

and there it is on an illuminated sign:
More Fall Prey to Debticide.

The questions are etched on my hand
the answers spread on the dinner table

easy cook microwaved baby sick
a bottle of mineral water

and a mouldering half-eaten hamburger
a police of flies circle crawl defecate

on the cindered hump of meat.
This is the golden head of my reality

a five hundred and fifty-two percent increase
on a snake loan to save the family home.

I watched the pin-striped laughter of the jet-skiing
bully boys drink up my mother’s blood

and I remain restless in a one-stop roach motel while they
sleep like prey under a sharp black night.




Saira Viola


Hear Saira read the poem here:

Acclaimed poet, novelist, song lyricist and creator of sonic scatterscript, Saira Viola has been widely published here, there and on the bathroom walls in Vegas.  Her novel Jukebox is available on Fahrenheit Press, and her published poetry includes the collections Don’t Shoot the Messenger (Underground Books), Flowers of War (Underground Books), Rebel Mini, and Fast Food and Gin on The Lawn(Feed a Read). Of her work, Heathcote Williams (RIP) has said, “Saira Viola’s devised some new designer drug that keeps you reading… powerfully hypnotic language.”

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