Broken it shows inside a kind of buttery filling, as if all along its roboticality was only on the outside, they were not after all mechanisms but soft things with flows and runs of sense. But perhaps I thought this only applies to the larger insects, in smaller ones the liquidity is no more than a smear, that can hardly, I thought, speak of animal passions. Each awn wants, to feel is to ride the sentence out where in the dust, limbs strut and tent. Only as verb does mind name something real, in the empire of the sensible on a typestract at x ideaspersecond. Daddy Longlegs belongs with that troupe of wrestlers from 70s Saturday afternoons, Giant Haystack etc. I considered how a windshield’s starcrack is already bugred, gunshot-holed. A scrapmetal spectre, wrought by fingers of air, one of its regional names was ‘pull-the-legs from me’. I slept a fragment, how the hungry mirrors have the voice of the ocean and contain each word in every language, but never utter a sound. The glove of me is lost in upflows to self, lost in a crowd the great life-poem that writes its knowledge, the flaps of me in trees caught the blind light of the stars when the clouds impersonate dreams and aerial drones divetail the eyes’ extent. I had crashed through so many ceilings that night and never yet reached a floor I could name as solid. Where the path’s pith fits the hinge unsticks on their varnished lawns shone the vertebrate moon, the puzzle in a face is terror of light here. The birds’ empty empire aggregates poppy appeals of freightful overflights made pliable to the white bones we are, Daddy looks blindly, statesponsored a flashlit pullaway. The pubichair fly. Its abdomen oviposits sunward, tensingly.

There was a paradox that seemed clear to me then about producing a thing the sum of which was zero, it was simple and of great importance, continuously, as I woke and returned to sleep. I did have the answer to the question, as the night progressed it became elegant. But now I neither know what the question was, nor can I recognise my answers.

I was growing a small boy under my clothes, in a remark thrown out of a car window and taken up by the wind. He held his coat, with the arms ensleeved, over his head, to present as a monster. We lucidly connected speech-patterns from broken stems, the angels leaned over their seats and told stories. Each one began with the stroke of time. But the boy was an unsuitable ghost and faded into adulthood with his bright plumage dimmed.

We fought beside the stream and pushed bodies into words, ignoring the screams of those that would not fit. The sense collided with its word and instantly fragmented into eye. We led the syllable back into the park and beat it with loss as if to dance between full stops. Walking back that evening, a dog defecated near me. I picked up my pace, planning to remonstrate with its owner. When I reached her, I found she was blind, elderly and confused.

A media-storm breaks through the airways and matter takes form as us struggling to catch up with the child struggling in to his new robes. I hear the car pull up that contains my bodies crated like milk bottles on the backseat. Today I shall be drunk. He kept a smile in his pocket for just such an occasion, and toothed the air with his fingers. The screen where flutes urged us before the mountains showed my dream was of brutish rutting. My phallus was spilling seed in great quantities, but without sensation. Also, it had passed through to the other side of what ever it was that I was penetrating, yet still my loins moved. The complexities of sleep were caretaking me, and the dogs of hours were selving and allowing interpretations to pass through them.

A man rips the sandwich out of my mouth. It curls on the pavement as he stamps on it. I scream and another comes out, a man is ripping them out as they come but as fast as he can stamp on them another urges itself between my teeth. So the words require the poem, articulate ham  the body leant back into the nineholes of origin, I cut the hair from the face to find the child sick with speech, or like a knife, a clock cuts flesh: it just acts slowly. In the perfumed garden outstared by stars sleeps a bird that comes out once a year. Looking from the window of the train I think I love all women; one is repacking her suitcase, leaning so the long white hair falls over her face. Another is reading as she stands. A third is checking two phones at once.

It has been cast into a bin, we can retrieve it but to what purpose. There is an anger in the trees. Time is susceptible to interpretation. The pumps pass their heat into us like machines for doing this. Theory made fright in their lanterns and the road deepened into the night of a song so threaded I was articulated by the last sentence, it was a quiet night on the road and people were making strange. In the next film we spoke in slow ocean, and a second later I was driving to work again, but it was misty and the road was unfamiliar. I had been sleeping on the floor of a bookshop in a town where angry television-presenters could be heard. I leant towards sky to find it sticky. You never step on the same dogshit twice. In the infant brain a thread may pull. A child made of is, all of his blood turns to paint, or print.

Myths in their mouths rusted, the balladeers in the woods broke from their chains and sang a song we could not construe. A small waterfall passed down the stairs, we sported in the senses of water, the skin waking to the standing of great beasts as if there was something about our beings that the body would not tell us, like a child with a secret cannot conceal the fact, and we shook with water, with consequence.

His fingers grew in the dark like onion-shoots. I structure this poem like a story so you may understand there is no story. There will be a village of bones or a pope running to put out his clothes and feelings displayed on his face; we must run fast to get to the end of the line, the poem is already dead, I reach an arm though the telescope and bring down a peach, it is furry and has small people on it, trembling with joy as they sense that they have a destiny now, peachness clings to my teeth inside a sentence, the hills slowly move into place behind us, or clang? The bells speculate a radio machine, eyes peer through ideology and come out behind the door that floats as if an exercise in the machine.

The cars had burnt down into rubber-ash and a helicopter throbbing away. The person who had no soul was driving towards work, not too quickly this person might whistle or tune in to the radio or remain in silence, the car was in a good state of repair, the balance of his mind was equable and capable, he was one of the best people to tell a joke in a crowd of strangers and make a speech about the possibilities remaining open, electricity buzzed consciously through him. This is you falling through the cracks in the sentence, the glow of streetlights in your hair, the drains speaking loudly as cars in great herds graze on road. You are on work time, but the window calls with great clarity, its belllike message is amassing in the soil. Seething the plot to a novel that would never write itself, sleep came.


Giles Goodland was born in Taunton, was educated at the universities of Wales and California, took a D. Phil at Oxford, has published a several books of poetry including A Spy in the House of Years (Leviathan, 2001), Capital (Salt, 2006), What the Things Sang (Shearsman, 2009), Gloss (Knives Forks and Spoons Press, 2011) and The Dumb Messengers (Salt, 2012). He works in Oxford as a lexicographer and lives in West London.


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