Aught, no. 5 (2001)

Antony Irvine

Even on a Rainy Afternoon

Incorporate by word, absence
of lime and the tree flakes trembling,
one among the dodger’s art
running from the call, thieving
the good that is left.

Now and then an easy time of it.
The regulars ate steak sandwiches all
in a night worth a few pounds
of scratched fins and flesh.
Opened the purse of gods and keys.
My her liver was heavy ! I took it
to the doctor and he spied the few of us
who cared for just content.

The fox trail hidden back in the nursery
as a thought immobilized by cold.
There was time to knuckle down and bury
the rest of that middle-aged crowd.
For sheer bravura you take the cake.
But the men of darlings
crippled by the wind are out there
in the street with bands in their loud singing.
And that garbage truck for the cranes
and whales that never arrived for you.

The sawbones originate in the cold
bones of the species ; none of them
are made for courting the room, for staging
the fist fights and the romantic interludes
that cause panic among the nine to fivers
running their hands over the metal noise.
The coat racks undo the hammers
swinging free in the hell of princes
and the wood of the fig tree living forever

This gift is straying from the pack,
the doors will bellow with the roar
of guns, the ballistics of your speech
waving as the ambulances pass the toys
and the bombs in this broken head.
I took a quiet time to forget the forgers,
the dog men who gape like bodies at the sky
There was no time and the dolls kicked
in the reflections that pained a singer and went wild
for sin and fame like a cloth draped over
the body of Christ. No song followed us home
that night in the mist. Even the gondoliers
were drifting apart, losing the nails, the gold
and the girl, living in crazy domes
that paid the divine rod for the food
they ate. And as you opened your eyes,
behold a drawn chariot with pale doves
in the homes where we dotted the climb of our lives.

Angry men sailed home from Ithaca.
No dope pardons this sleep that has lasted
since the Irish beheld the world.
No one will find you this time. Not in Grenoble
or Marakesh. This is not a place for duty and scorn
even when the rebellion has had its way. You and those
grateful fingers tenderly beset by waves. Some say you are a passion.
Like a lie.
Some are not even sure you exist.


Gathering Storm

Late again for the grapefruit fest
bu that was a comma and I heard no noise
to tell me otherwise. The man who held you
calms the point of compasses and needles,
he starts to bleed in the northern winds,
The thread of a socket is born unseen.

You became that mirage
the cycle finished in the stadium where
dice turned noble blonde to blood. My fist,
the wretched song blasted from first
love to biding my time in the mirror.

It is heavy this growing spice that by nature
does the duty of first light in the bombing.
Thus old fear is exposed and the nerve
opens a blind eye for the Jack and his
country dead of spades and trilliums.

I was a guest you see but never overstayed
my welcome.Before the bats grew leather skins
the flood punctured the gathering, holding on
to what the rain drops down in your path,
some idol, a trite, coy hollow where the devil
fish are starting up the tune. Where the mockingbird
felt the star and hung from the trees then
announced a fever from lilies that die
by the side of the road.

First owl light is free in this instance,
only the joke played upon a neutral cold,
a poor son, a species of darkness storming
in the sun. From gales to pitched battle
the harbour weeps, in loins the bow is broken.
What unsteady hand is leading the world again ?
To every white salmon, to the indigenous perplexed,
there lies the Creator ; better some false trap
than the course of these unlettered fevers of the dead.


Burned Amidst the Opulent Cornucopia

There was rocket fuel but people
wanted throngs, martinis between their legs;
one sport in a countless herd of decibels,
an obvious counting of the dead in moist fields.
Tribes are born naked as the sea wall, fire before
their loins, their naked judgment of descent.

Then hearing a flare I turned aside
to spare further embarassment, for my mind
said rude craters of the moon were dumb
and spoke only in thine eyes.

What a word you made, the crazy
tokens showed you the plastic city
underneath the bite of rather ordinary dreams.
The streams of blood only pale
under a lamp like this ; man in a season
stripped of a kindness he endured.

Special treatment for an idea simple
in its girth and purpose, an equal to any man
or woman, a daring pose lightened by
the venues of tranquility set on fire.

That special glow ridden by hoarfrost
into the bell tower of woods, down peaked
mountains, a shower of dead leaves empty
the wagon of tiny welts that bleed. Now
a part of the drama invests in stocks, real
men please the shopkeeper, pay rent
for jewels and the right to aim a gun.

Now the mind is settled on a further price,
you can almost see the horizon from here.
That was many eons ago like lighting
a candle when fair weather picked up a stray,
a new vacant pall dithering by chimneys.
It was a sort of rationale as spoken by mummies
and the door to the feed opens onto lawns,
summer palaces, frames of stuffed marble girls.

The tide hooked you like a peaceful brook
in which the fish dive for women.
Their toil is a magic supper for the taking.
Every needful brow asks the question whether
the truth be sun or whimper. Nice night
for bathing, down by the beauty’s well,
as good as any rain.
To those of you who hear the words
but do not see the crime this is one second creeping
among the pieces of your distant star.

Copyright 2001, by the author. All rights reserved.
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