Aught, no. 14 (2005)

Ian Seed

The Gift

Exposed at three in the morning, the supposed millennium. Affection for tables and chairs might be of more use, not born of desire. The office was another place altogether, murder just on the other side of his smile. Even the girl singing in the toilet couldn’t be trusted. No holds barred to account for deeds of other times, tearing at the throat like thirst, walking down the corridor, afraid of fainting, unready for an upbeat version of the world, when the wonder of it has a magic desperation, nothing decided, much freedom still to ride from one day to another. It could be argued in many ways, all kinds of desertions endlessly discussed, taking us away from what is important. Then why am I so cold when you approach, afraid of what you hold in your hands, closed over your belly?


The Call

Not a moment too soon the message was brought like a head on a plate, anxious not to disturb anyone at dawn. Colder now, we must come to a conclusion, while we can still see other possibilities, a hint of bone through broken skin, a horse’s mouth looked into for too long. By the side of my eye, it comes up trumps unexpectedly. Think of the impression you’re making. At the end of tapering nerves, you’re told to find new ways of helping out.


False Claim

Bad energy, prickly and earnest, sliding down the hill in rain – we could time each event exactly, prizes awarded for the best mask. The bald man concentrated as best he could, head bent forward in the lamplight, not all we knew of it, meeting between walls fragmented by automatic fire. Once a tawny owl flew into my face after I took an egg from its nest. Possible, I guess, to track you too, through ancient streets, blue eyes behind gold-rimmed glasses, savage thoughts contained, no sacrifice made too neatly.


Broken Seal

Obsessive talent was a blessing, brought to a point that was in effect beyond those crimes committed by so many, just a loss broken off by a turn of phrase or a certain sickness. The light in the library was left on for the night. Having given up too soon, a certain cynicism played around his lips. There was a cry at the end of the process, caught on the proffered hook, lower lip hanging, gaze open onto the dark street. Time to throw away the ballast and set sail. There was a quality to his journey not defined easily beyond borders, thick as thieves to mention, angels to the left and right of Christ.


From Nowhere

Wet with rain she arrived at the door after everyone had gone to bed. I let her in, knowing she was lost, and told nobody. Was I fifteen at the time? A restlessness keeps me moving, not wanting to come to the end of the story. Her cough kept me awake most of the night. Life melts away like a fable, leading to another dimension. Easier to have heartstrings tugged by the next stranger than to heal the situation as it is. I’m not tired, she said. The one great book was a star which put us to sleep and woke us at the same time. No one recognised the two ragged figures emerging from the wood. I remember how her eyes closed.


Copyright 2005, by the author. All rights reserved.
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