In a crepuscular recognition of National Poetry Day and in anticipation of the new Mouthy year, I thought I’d post a few verses composed over the past year or so in Mouthy sessions.
You told me how some fish have names
derived from cod like codling, codlet or tomcod
but how some names have become
too well established,
so well established that they’re hard to shake off
even if they don’t fit anymore.
STRANGE ABOUT ME?
Field these questions to me I
will lob them with my bat
backhand if you like.
I will pretend I’ve answered them
secretly under my breath but
I will have whacked them into outrageous space
before your very eyes
Like I’m wearing a neon orange
T-shirt that says ATM.
A foolish foreigner who doesn’t know their secrets.
I have eaten powdered meat and potatoes brought back
to life with water boiled over coals sold cheap to me at twice the price.
This year though, I talked in their language and paid the same as them
still twice the price.
George Bush Senior is after me. He is in a limousine chasing me up the lane to Primary School but we are both moving glacially. He has guys in the back. Jump to on stage in the school play. It’s a slapstick comedy scene where I hide from the baddies by donning the costumes and fake moustaches of different characters. A lift. A space lift.
RESPONSE TO ADJECTIVES OF ORDER
We acted it out in the classroom
because I didn’t know what the words meant
and it was something meaningful to do
with our time together in Los Almendares
I didn’t know if he fell from the branch
or the branch fell from him
I stood in a chair and she mimed catching me
When I handed her ten dollars or was it pesos
she checked the glass in the door for passers-by
And I didn’t understand if they were looking
up at her or down at her
In that room where we laid it all out
I also got the measure of things but
I still have trouble with subir and the other one.
ST GEORGE’S DAY
Did you know you can get your hair longed?
I got my hair longed.
Thought it would look nice for the St George’s Day Parade.
Turns out they made it from Chinese noodle soup. Has to
Be the soup first. Not just noodles or it won’t work.
Can’t wait to show my noodles to St George.
He’ll love them. Back in his day you couldn’t get your hair longed.
China didn’t exist then. It was just England.
I suppose we’ve got something to thank them for.
Stock rotation gone wrong
on the kitchen table
giddy aroma floated away as
we backed and forthed about
unpacking our bag for life.
Knowing we hadn’t lost everything
I sliced the skin with a knife
in the wondrous way I was taught
long before life-hacks packed
juice into the driest of feeds
Well concealed, playing dead
a reservoir of tang.
Emerging pixellated from the bleak
The shape of a town beset by its own nook
The geodestiny of an overcast corner
The arse-end of a plastic bag
No through roads.
Only inroads on which cats have shut their eyes for good.
God save those children
Those little blackened, mouldy lumps of feta
crumbling into cheese sludge when
it rains bin juice.
Overhead the crows fly by
refusing to even shit on this place.