A glass of chilled Gavi after the morning sauna
has the same effect as a dollop of cranberry jelly in your draught lager
and now I am haunted by imaginary German words for mystical fish.
I should never have summoned the witch in N°.4,
she came to me in dream two nights ago
so I let the earth's once spin shake off and compact what I recall:
did she really force mauve felt plums into my mouth?
Tall enough to hook my neck in her elbow pit
and draw me in from a deep, long lonely sense of touchlessness;
the passage from powder shade to wan moonlight
and the quivering tenderness I have sought so long.
I found my tattered Byron Foot Club membership card
                in this frock coat pocket
only it was my knee, the magnetic resonance said,
and the referto was Clorinda's heart, made out of iron-filings on the whitest paper.
I stood in front of an unfinished house on the side of a freeze-frame hill;
a cement mixer abandoned in the grassless yard:
                             A probe fallen
                             to earth.
But now I'm back on my old Claud Butler again,
back rim still slightly buckled
from the legendary Ramsgate harbour fall
brought on by the heavy bar room malady of unrequited love
and one too many pinch bolts bartered for draught Spitfire.
The irregular wheel transmits a wobbly pulse
and at every pedal push
the sun draws more visible light toward one last point,
which if you think that
                pulleys and lines are weightless
                no energy is lost due to friction
                lines, supposedly, do not stretch
                and the total force on the pulley must be zero

probably means I'm slowly winching another day off its own edge
though with no block and tackle in sight to speak of.
Then the sun bobs upwards behind cloud,
leaving the fishmonger's window somewhere between splatter
                             and pollack by Pollock.
Kids on the passing tram fry their brains with rap
                –I'd swear one's shouldering a jute sack
and was that a goat or the space cowboy at the filthy window?
Typhon and Pan are arguing with the ticket inspector
'cause we ain't got DEFRA pet guidelines on Milano ATM,
where a hunting dog is a what is it doing or what is it for question.
Rail side tree lymph clogs at the base
and brittle-tipped, limp leaves are a sure sign
that root creak                has set in
and like it or not they're in the loop
of what we have to hand,
which is not so much carelessness as uncaring:
and constantly on the threshold of how outspoken that can be

Valverde/Milan – 23rd-25th July 2006