In The Navy

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In the Navy

i.m. Stuart Addison, Stephen Bebbington, Jake Casey, Brett Dwyer, Ewen McDonald

 

I’m hung by my feet over the stern;

the propellor’s a sort of halo,

my heels Morse hell’s unfeelingness,

the boatswains’ eyes are clogged with ice.

 

The propellor’s a sort of halo

I must serve, must serve, must serve.

The boatswain’s eyes are clogged with ice

when I’m felled while mopping the deck.

 

I must serve, must serve, must serve,

water and food withheld.

When I’m felled while mopping the deck

my ungloved hands purple.

 

Water and food withheld,

my tongue swells and dries, vessels burst.

My ungloved hands purple

while hallucinating Jack Ketch,

 

my tongue swells and dries, vessels burst.

I’m hung by my feet over the stern;

while hallucinating Jack Ketch

my heels Morse hell’s unfeelingness.

 

 

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Blindness

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Sir Blindness gropes through the House

of Bluebird, insisting ‘I am perfectly nice!’

Wanting an urn for the oak leaf’s smoke,

or a follower to polish mirrors,

Blindness is all smiles.

 

Spurned, he tweets like a child,

his threads unravel wilder, wilder:

‘The centre of my sinful earth, poor soul.’

To generate tenderness Blindness says

‘On the writing hand I have fluid,

 

only money is a poultice.’

Still poor, still poor, Blindness’s kindness

splinters into a million pieces,

a million butterflies

bristling with milkweed. The boy must be anesthetized—

 

poison in a glass of tea,

pasteurization with steam.

Blindness is the aphid of poetry,

shadiness the root of it.

They will not bloom, the Chinese roses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

note: ‘Blindness’ is a terminal from Sylvia Plath’s ‘Kindness’ and includes a line from Shakespeare

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