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Eros in Aluminium

The small bugloss “grows upon the drie
ditch bankes about Pickadilla”.
The candied roots
“engender good blood”.

A pickadill in Blount’s
a round hem,
a stiffened ornamental collar.

From two root words, from pain and pleasure,
the body makes its language.

Animatronic joints
in the Circus “goin’ round an’ round”.

He who stirs the broth with the point of an arrow
watching the ones become both,
turns it back
to make the boths into neithers,

He who with the dancing wounded
lifts one foot
to kick away the ball of the world
on which the other stands,

He is made of “a metal,
white, sonorous, ductile,
and malleable, very light,
not readily oxidized or tarnished”.

Sweating the colours of brands,
not a man, nor is he numbered with the dead,
the filament of all these lights
revolving his head.

Being desire,
has none.
Those streets
through which I ran
through rain,

naked and hunted,
before, in assassin’s attire,
I gunned myself down,
are the streets over which you reign,

“dainty and goodly” dancer,
anther at the centre of the rose,
the endlessly opened rose
of amusements, of entertainment.

You did us, wicked boy, you done us in.
The three-cornered point
drove a hole that won’t close
from which the world is peopled.

Where the wild bugloss
will not
no child of mine, no child,
you make the world with child again.

Are you mad?
Are you blind?
Get out
the fucking way.

Blood-red dragon spews a flood of brine
to swallow woman clothed with sun.
Trembling in its strength and roaring round
with “the voice of many waters’.

Up the West End,
our backs to the wreck of Atlantis,
the Maiden Tribute of Babylon
does wonders for circulation.

The wheels are spinning lust
on industrial scales.
Which is the sex-worker,
raw material or finished product?

Not to be confused
with viper’s or with purple viper’s,
the small, the wild bugloss, Lycopsis arvensis,
the vision of the wolf among the fields.

John Gibbens
from Falling Down


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