On Hypnogogic Love Considered from a Purely
On mornings like this I ceaselessly re-imagine you
miniaturised to the size of a Victorian china doll
dressed in crinolines and dirty bloomers
reclining under hot lights in a vivarium of gravel and cacti
with your back arched against the rocks
and your knees raised and parted
and a silver skink creeping from between your lips.
It's going to be as lushly romantic as a calcified horse tail on a
green velvet cushion
but to make it all perfect I have to use those wine glasses with
the broken stems
and I'm afraid to go behind the supermarket to get them
because Lord Byron is there and he's making passionate love to
Thomas Thorild on the broken-up cardboard boxes by the
they're making an incredible amount of noise and there's fruit
peel and bits of cardboard flying everywhere
Byron has a cloven hoof and a lovely voice and Thorild has
only I can't always tell for sure which is which.
These soft reptiles are draping themselves all round the side of
I'm trying to wash my hair before you get here but the water's
clogged with enzymes
and the reptiles keep scratching my earlobes with their spiny
I've been trying and trying to get you a doctor's appointment.
Your fontanelle never closed, it just migrated to your heart.
dingo 73 is the eat-me centre of the corazón line
every skinwalker bears its own chiliastic promise like a spider
in a pelican’s mouth
empties the pharmacy in a swoop of stockings
keeps its finger on the index
coughs up a flurry of thumb-lovers
scars of grey felt glint over the snow-brine
their equipment in mufti for a black cocoon sport
smoothed across a patina of minty chihuahua chops
the door contains the seeds of its own destruction
How to Dispose of a Corpse
Stop kissing it.
Shave its head. Soak the hair in vinegar and allow to stand
in the airing cupboard overnight. Plant the hair neatly using a
bulb planter in the early autumn. By spring you will have six
jolly fat mares growing out of your vegetable patch.
Remove the tongue and release it back into the sea to re-join
its wilder brothers.
Incinerate the head. The sound will be unpleasant but the
ears, lips and teeth will melt easily. The eyeballs however will
shrink and crack like glass; you will need to retrieve them from
the grate and get rid of them separately.
Separate the limbs from the torso using levers and strong
If the corpse has breasts, dress them in a balm of butter,
sugar and lavender flowers. If not, open the chest and pull
apart the rib cage to release the loose-skinned brown lizard
that revolves inside. You will notice the smell as the bones
crack open. Note: you will need both hands for this.
The softness of the belly and the foulness of the contents will
invariably make you retch. Get this part over with as quickly
as possible, and don't bother trying to find any romance in it.
Lungs, kidneys, liver and spleen should be placed all
together inside the hollow tree trunk by the swings in the park.
This can then be left to the elements, set light to, or buried
under water at a later date.
The navel should be allowed to continue to guard its
Rub down the thigh bones with glass paper and molasses.
The patellae can be removed in the same way as contact lenses.
Detach the fleshy parts of the calves which are good when
When removing the hands, take care not to ruin the orb of
the wrist bone, but let it keep its blind milky eye intact. Cut in
this fashion, the hands of the dead have many properties. A
corpse's fingers will do quite as well in a woman's hair as
between her thighs, and if placed in her mouth will bring her
both migraines and longevity.
Prepare the back by inserting red-headed map pins along
the ridge of the spine. Do not substitute the map pins with
cufflinks. The spine itself is both indestructible and selffastening,
and you will have to carry it on your own back from
now on. It will chafe your skin and the sores will run without
respite, as a constant reminder of your bestial intelligence.
Doubtless you will have been entertaining high hopes for the
heart as the climax of this night's work. What have you been
imagining you will find there in that raw hole? A prairie fire, a
scalding geyser, a meteorite, a leaping trout, a tiger lily, a
mermaid, a cloven hoof, an electric eel, the nub of a pearl, a
dirty razor blade, a catherine wheel, a tinder box, a cute little
puppy, your mother, a branding iron, a glass slipper, a fighting
rooster, a poker game, Perseus's sword, a bloody pillowcase, the
baby Jesus, a white-hot syringe, a seething vivarium, a
piranha, a lioness, iron ore, a cathedral of granite, a flaming
library, a spider in a pint glass, a dripping rainforest, an
extraterrestrial landscape, an enchanted mirror, an express
train, a sticky honey bee, a golden viper, a centipede, a melting
glacier, a devouring mouth, the head of Orpheus, a goshawk, a
phoenix, a goat's eye, a lightning conductor still wet from the
storm? Dry your eyes, it's only a wet piece of offal.
Before disposing of the rest, try to wait for the shudders to
It has recently come to my attention that, under certain
conditions during the normal sleep cycle, my body
metamorphoses into yours.
My jawbone becomes your sutra, your throat buzzes with
electronic voice phenomena, a damselfly appears between my
thighs, and I become your paedomorph.
By this unusual methodology you are able to play in my house
in the dark.
Some nights you slither around the bed legs and grapple my
clothes with your phantom limb.
Some nights you creep downstairs and masturbate on the sofa.
Usually I only know what has happened because of the mess
you have left behind: the half-open drawer, the smear marks
on the window, the smell of your pelt on the furniture.
But last night I woke up for the first time with your body still
plunging through mine.
For the first time I saw your skin scale and flare.
I heard your breath rise and fall like pinking shears or a battle
or the spores of some fanatical coral.
I watched your teething ring enter the eustachian tube and
pass through the dappled glade into the fiacre.
And then I fell back to sleep.
The Magic Bullets
Since the moment I first saw them I’ve been hopelessly
obsessed with the scars from those magic bullets. Ports of
simultaneous exit and entry, they’ve kept me awake and had
me dreaming ... Chlorophyll seeps from them as they lie
passively in the dark. When I slip the jack under the skin I
hear the sigh as their lips gently close around the conductor.
Oily metal jacks make a sharp sliding motion, whereas more
organic probing devices work differently. A tooth, say, will pull
the scar right open, wide and shallow; hands and feet will bore
slow hard spirals, while a head will bring about total
metamorphosis by forced entry. Exotic varieties of keyhole
surgery can be performed with the introduction of hot cutting
wires into each scar’s central aperture, or endoscopes inserted
for the inspection, tender and aggressive by turns, of
complexity in action.
But different elementals are in play when the scars become
active and extrude feathery tendrils to catch and ingest passing
organisms such as oral bacteria, epithelial cells or homunculi,
or when they squirt torrents of self-fertilising eggs while you’re
taking a shower. At other times and quite without warning
they can suddenly shoot forth knives or root-stems or
compound eyes or exploding endoskeletons, or yes if we get
lucky one day maybe even those actual magic bullets.
As they open and close, push and pull, ingest and excrete in
irregular rhythms, I can take each scar in turn entirely into my
mouth, and my tongue is coated with a million tiny hairs which
trample the surface to pick up the vibrations of distant
biochemical suns. Nodes become nipples which sprout teeth
and bite the soft palate between gulps of amniotic fluid. Magic
bullets erupt from the skin and slither away from you across
the papers on your desk towards me. We can take it in turns to
cry helplessly. You’re sleeping now, but I’m wide awake, and
I’m counting over those magic bullets like a miser.
he drops his thyroid into her lap
under the seeding campanile
wet larks' feet pearled in the space hopper
sky belling and drop-weathered
pasted breasts curled inside the foreskin
her bristly cormorant lets slip the keyring
open-hearted galapagos on the fin-glide
each needlepoint on the melon rind
his lips as mercurial as summer
soft carbons grazed on a prosthetic tongue
falling along the icarus bone
she slowly feathers the razorfish
drenches his magnetism across the cicatrice
he runs her hair like a vendetta
his coral is her fleecy sun
A virgin honour is a crystal tower: disbetrothed and unbroken,
bloody passage sealed with grave wax; looking like baleful
grapestems, or else scalped by parch-fenders; arch-traitor of
angels, pondweed smeared like a wig around the torso –
Capitulate, capitulate, you my spyvies, each tumbledown mask
reeks of pallid ozone, and trenchered thighs fall open at the
breath of blade-kind. Here under a canvassing moon, the
Leyden jars lie smashed and emptied; pinprickers and
sarabandes go mad on booze and the afterlife; lovers break
their waters for the heart of an ant, and wreck their shoes
against broken faces.
Such dreaming boys should be jerking out mother’s milk, not
plunging hot fingers into spackled gorse.
Heart (Heart) Polar
Each bird is a tiny alchemical vessel.
All through the winter, through suds of air, they metabolise
cloudberries into plutonium
and chase the pink horseman over artificial hills where the
skyline drops like snow.
He’s distinguished from other mammals by the sweetness of his
his spider fangs and his cosmically aligned fontanelle.
Cormorants are exaggerated all the same.
Evolution is a matter for cremation dancers.
The ghost of Olof Palme appeared in a joke-shop mask and told
them they had to rinse the curve,
but when they tried to draw the water they found the bucket
was full of long red hair,
and all the roses had turned into cycle paths,
and they said, “The iceman is taking a turn for the better.”
Meanwhile, late night in the museum, Vincent Price was
writing up his psychological reports on all the schoolkids.
He’s the one who tops up the exhibits with arsenic every night
with ungloved hands
and then goes upstairs to masturbate over images of an elderly
Buzz Aldrin in a baseball shirt spraying his tag across the
There are some concluding remarks about craneflies and
and whether Trotsky could whistle,
and whether stupidity is a superpower,
to which we shall return on another occasion.