Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Simon Armitage Poem

Simon Armitage

At Sea

It is not through weeping,
but all evening the pale blue eye
on your most photogenic side has kept
its own unfathomable tide. Like the boy
at the dyke I have been there:

held out a huge finger,
lifted atoms of dust with the point
of a tissue and imagined slivers of hair
in the oil on the cornea. We are both
in the dark, but I go on

drawing the eyelid up by its lashes
folding it almost inside-out, then finding
and hiding every mirror in the house
as the iris, besieged with the ink
of blood rolls back

into its own orbit. Nothing
will help it. Through until dawn
you dream the true story of the boy
who hooked out his eye and ate it,
so by six in the morning

I am steadying the ointment
that will bite like an onion, piping
a line of cream while avoiding the pupil
and in no time it is glued shut
like a bad mussel.

Friends call round
and mean well. They wait
and whisper in the air-lock of the lobby
with patches, eyewash, the truth
about mascara.

Even the cats are on to it;
they bring in starlings, and because their feathers
are the colours of oil on water in sunlight
they are a sign of something.
In the long hours

beyond us, irritations heal
into arguments. For the eighteenth time
it comes to this: the length of your leg sliding out
from the covers, the ball of your foot
like a fist on the carpet

while downstairs
I cannot bring myself to hear it.
Words have been spoken; things that were bottled
have burst open and to walk in now
would be to walk in

on the ocean.


Monday, March 25, 2013

POEM: "Untied"


Buy makeup teach her how
lend weight to lose weight
educate educate god he hates it
might as well eradicate now
she's so beautiful like she is
canst thou remember a time
before we came unto this cell?
sure girls ride mountain mules
sure they ride trails steep as caterpillars
slowly slowly up around they go
mushroom clouds are pretty chilly
she's taking the lift up to his place
later she cooks him a strange dinner.

© 2013 Rob Schackne

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Gjertrud Schnackenberg Poem

Gjertrud Schnackenberg


Threading the palm, a web of tiny lines
Spells out the lost money, the heart, the head,
The wagging tongues, the sudden deaths, in signs
We would smooth out like imprints on a bed,

In signs that can't be helped, geese heading south,
In signs read anxiously, like breath that clouds
A mirror held to a barely breathing mouth, 
Like telegrams, the gathering of crowds--

The plane, an X in the sky spelling disaster:
Before the whistle and hit, a tracer flare;
Before rubble, a hairline crack in plaster
And a housefly's panicked scribbling on the air.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

POEM: "Germany 3 - Argentina 1"

Germany 3 - Argentina 1

                                              (2006 World Cup)

This week the Germans lifted steins
As they drank to a kind of imagination
That owes a little more to cupidity
Than to the demands of extra time

I guess that tonight by a campfire
On the high plains of Argentina
Gauchos will argue the off-side rule
And if there’s such a thing as free

The wireless crackles, the boys debate
Whether a penalty may not result in death
And several sharp knives are unsheathed
In demonstration of traditional scorn

At last Andreas curves an old ball high into the dark
(Their long beef ribs were burnt mostly black)
Now the herd is slowly moving it around
And occasionally a perfect goal is scored.


© 2006 Rob Schackne

Monday, March 4, 2013

POEM: "After Reading Gerry's Poem"

After Reading Gerry’s Poem

Opens out of sleep
surfaces in remnant memory
dread whatever you conceived
maybe departure maybe death
maybe deadly fear of an insane world
you call out you search for it
only to find the darkness is empty
surprised as you say that nothing stares back
for how else does revolution occur
looking for new fears to conquer
the challenge of changes we asked for
if poets inspire dreams of freedom
they’re the first motherfuckers against the wall.

© 2013 Rob Schackne