if I could only clear my desk of goats
notes & rhubarbarian hooliganism –
at least I've learned that goats have preorbital vacuities
& so does the fundamentalist Christian gonging on
on the radio              impersonating a dalek in a popemobile
how shall we tell the sheep from the goats? he creaks
how about goats have 60 chromosomes not 54
a little beard   they hold their tails up      & look a lot like fucking goats
                the continent takes so long to drag itself sideways
the speed of our fingernails growing         or oil paint drying
                          in the subduction zone the floor disappears
as the local turns into the possible
yet according to the King's Lynn Tide Tables
it's still 2290 sea miles to La Spezia
on the journey swallow certain details of the planet's surface:  first catch your rhubarb & get your left hand down  among its little crotches      give one stem a savage leg-break tweak then do 5 more completing the over cart your flappy booty to the end of the garden & strip off the leaves for organic pesticide   when boiled with 2 litres of water   (or just boil the pests) or a satisfying tea when brewed with 200 mil for the man on the radio      ignore the classical smalls on the line      bad for the blood pressure      back in the kitchen manouevre your curved length under a cold tap 3 times then turn the tap on so water celebrates all over this crisp & bitter structure    then chop it up   to rhubarb-size chunks  with a light knife that will stop against anything stringy prompting you to raise the offending baton to edge back the superficial by alternating pushes of the still-articulated sections      transfer to your worst saucepan  with a lisp of fresh water      a whisper of sugar      & a wish of cinnamon & ginger stir with attractive wooden paddle-shaped implement over a low heat & a bluesy background like Zucchero's    She's My Baby      when the bridge kicks in again turn the heat up without warning for 20 seconds & flick in a spit of white wine     turn heat back down for next track to reassure rhubarb  then get some Greek yoghurt   blob this into the syrupy juices   all tangy & translucent  with a pollen of freshly-grated nutmeg  seven little hedgerow berries & an icing of vodka breath straight from the expiring freezer & that is actually the goat
looking in through the kitchen window                              what or whom is it standing on?
a pile of papers ready for recycling      a million words on athlete's foot & string theory
new food     frocks & hybrid skateboards
if a solar system were an atom    a string would be a tree
under the tree the guests are fleeing as Typhon tries to crash the party
almost everyone runs & manages to turn into an animal    except Pan who
plunging into the river          only does the job by halves        underwater he's all fish-tail
above he still plays the goat        Zeus laughs his rocks off
& nails Capricornus up beyond the sycamore forever            mind you
Typhon's still banged up under Etna       stuck inside his chimney      we've all been there
the stars shine down on the papers & mint    my nephew's buggy abandoned
after he's betrayed by  heat    heart   &  midsummer afternoons:
a light summer drizzle filters the sun & Sam sees a bee in a flower in the rain
he cups it in his hands        nursing it towards the shelter of the house & cries out as it
stings deep in his tender palm                 do you recall your own key innoculations?
                           our fashionable goat is thrilled by recent DEFRA guidance:
 if you applied a tattoo before 9th July 2005 that you can no longer read
you can replace it with another tattoo

now I'm making this compress for stings from nettles & desktop-clutter
say the sideways-moving  jaws  of the face with the goatee

End of June/beginning of July – Norfolk