Dreamworld and other poems

Dreamworld and other poems
Five poems by the poet and musician based in Oxford, England. His works include the three-part album and stage-show Alexander the Great: a Folk Operetta and the pamphlets Reasons Not to Live There (Sabotage Reviews Recommended Release, 2012) and The Gallows-Humored Melody (Albion Beatnik Press, 2016). 


I can’t control my dreamworld.
What else is new? The night?

My dreamworld is an open secret,
a haunted house of genes.
Its oldest tenants tire of it
and bed into my waking.

(A curtain falls, a curtain lifts,
I can’t tell discrete from discreet.)

My dreamworld I remember
like any event recalled
like any dream.
The less said about that the better...

The less said? Where else can I speak
the proto-words distilled by imps
of impetus, my head in the clouds
of sulphur, sand and lymph?

I don’t control my dreamworld.
Why grind the hand that feeds?

Perhaps with age I’ll master it, you say...

Just turn the light off, please,
and don’t be naïve — 

the dreamworld is a thousand centuries strong.

And They Fit

When the hollow fingers reached into my chest,
   I threw a smile at the concave
wall that pressed them slowly down on me.
   This would be a civil
war, I had resolved, and the fingers feigned
   caution in return.

If you know what’s good for you... they seemed
   to sign, weaving past
my ribs to the screech-owl’s lungs, vole’s heart.
   What they didn’t know
is that I own these jinn of interpretation,
   who cast and recast the sign

before my eyes — until it suited me.
   Then I reached inside my chest
and pressed my fingers slowly into the hollows.
   And they fit like the gloves of a killer.

Century Zero

May I object to death
without fearing it?
Maybe that’s the key
to a case for the afterlife:
that the unthinkable

must indeed be thought,
but that the demon’s only
haunt — the mind on which
reality depends —
simply says nope,

and gerrymanders the gods’
judgement. And if the haters
are right about human—
kind’s viscous dye
of an essence, no human dies

as long as the essence runs.
A death is little more
than Satan plucking a hair.
Now watch him pick the locks
on Century Zero: the post-

modern pill has sprouted
a tree whose branches reach
down into the gene.
Where its roots will climb,
heaven only knows.

But it’ll be quite the show,
and one I’d object to missing.
That’s the ascendant sin:
to want to live to see us

Hope Multiplied

People have looked to the stars 
since there were people. Believers
imply they were a cause
of human vision: the star-gods
turned and teased the strands
of double helixes,
sowing children’s eyes...
Is that right? Who knows.
But stars allayed the curse
of inspired ignorance,
the loneliness of seers:
our scouts were flying bears,
our counsel seven sisters.

Eventually we found
whole galaxies abound,
each of them its own
arena for the damned
or saved. Now it seemed
absurd to think our proud
line would never send
its gaze to a single point
in the sky and have it returned
by friends, however distant.
We never broke our trance
on where the rainbow ends.

But when we broke the plait — 
particles of light
coiled in waves — and pulled
uncertainty into play,
a multiverse exploded
before our eyes... Appalled,
delighted, we drown to paddle.
Now, amid this dappled
sea, a question stirs:

is hope multiplied?

You Can Imagine Voices

An empty hall you don’t remember
entering. But the door, the great
door behind you is closed and here
you are. Perfect quiet, almost
contrived in its perfection, as though
this were the proper ambiance
to honour…what? One assumes
banners, decorations would be
hung if that were so. But no – 
looking up, there is only
air, light, and the lofty ceiling.
You can imagine voices, music
escaping up there, combining.

You look away, dizzy, eyes
falling on some tables arranged
at the end of the hall, heavy with objects.
(Not so empty after all.)
To hell with this, you think, and start
towards them seeking clues. But seconds
later a voice calls out (from where?
you can’t be sure) and stops you dead.

‘Come in, the space is yours, if
you want it.’

Breezily it comes and goes,
busying itself on the other
side of one of these walls. And so
you’re left standing there, exposed,
wondering if at some point you
were separated from the group.

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