&

CC

Sonnet for skirts

‘When bitterness ousts us
I’ll remember THE DRESS,
your shifts and your tunics.
You’ll think of my fear
of your need to co-ordinate.’
‘Wrong version. Dead
love is divided
more like a train
so seats can’t be accessed
from both ends.’ ‘But style
drains us. Our words just
breed wordiness.’
‘But remember the sleeper,
when we took words off?’

CMC

Strawberries

A dress sent in installments
for a Summer, a look that
was in at a wedding with no guests
(a coathanger swings a swan mannequin).
All clothes before were Druid’s suits
snagged in sheets, threaded
to the skin by arthritic puppeteers.
All suits before were Ragmen
rehearsing in Dressing Room 6,
Goths with collapsible suitcases.
(A red garter tourniquets the before & after
a railroute that links the registry & estuary)
a train that divides the just-wed & not
that declares NO LOST PROPERTY (as it goes)
and if there was : the still wet strawberries

CC

The puppeteer

That old craze for hot tubs! We looked down
from the balcony where we were warm
and naked and saw a knife poised
above a woman lying under a coat
asleep. We all shouted ‘No.’
Our talk of experiments to detect
the future of the universe ended.
The hand stayed up and waved,
a fisherman pointing to his catch.
One tress of strawberry blonde hair
swelled out of a collar as a tendon
might protrude from a slipping cuff.

CMC

Telescopes

The ring slips a finger you once thought was Up Yours,
slips like a head-dress over a thimble bride’s neck,
shrieks of slo-mo NOs at the misquoted chat-up lines –
a kneading of tongues to eat their own bones.
An Apocalypse scurries under the dresser
– each scratch woofers a Kraken’s itch –
a tail is not a talon : a mouse’s nest,
wreath-petit, made from Christmas hats,
tinsel, shredded brochures & seashells.
Stripped off our T-shirts logo’d POLYMORPHOUS,
uncorked a deep red in white boiler suits. Pressed
the suit to my chest, the collars pegged with sparrows.
The telescope showered us a YES – warts & aortas
(You said) was the art of words. If we accepted
each other's our names would be printed.
I took your finger : not a hand : it was a catch :
we could have seen the stars if everyone flicked off a switch.
Our Open Skies policy was writ. We shook them off
at the cashpoint. Wild cats glared from the demolition site.

CC

Lens

Human, a tiny country
slung from a pole of grass.
Its skin of water
nests and suspends the sun.
Now a group happens
more and more:
exchanging names, admitting
it has no arms:
but a catch: cannibalism.
‘Drop in, cool
single,’ urges the ditch.
‘Fall. Fall. Fall.’

CMC

The Fall

Mark E. Smith’s moshpit
meshes ‘76 eggshell blondes
with the nit-crochet generation.
You have woken up with Fall sound!
No more shots at the Astoria.
But loneliness petri
fies : was it a lens or a dish
(the pills, the drink) in soft focus?
Name me a happiness: You said : the B-sides.
ENTER the Boy, the stresses & Tombliboos,
the nightshifts & changes. Then his voice!
He thought scarecrows were laid-off puppets
and us just slightly above. The tresses
and tunics ruffled our sleep patterns
until we woke up : to capture this