Issue 29: Stuart McPherson
Evolute / Become Perennial
Window bricked parapet
soaked in demilune substrates.
Mutes the night silk, a young
seed spun from scant prison
windows, lifts up the privet
where perverse secrets curse the
silhouettes running hairy legged
down the path.
To thirst beside ivory skeletons
of our favourite dead nuclear
animals. Jabbed, right in the neck
of it. Razor clam, hollow water.
A bird body, comfy lived-in ribs.
Polaris targets young backs only
when space knowledge sends us
spiraling into glossy sleep.
Grow stems. Slither up all earth
wormy. Chokehold tidy gardens
with unprecedented nighttime
What If I Just Run Away?
Burst world, a festering world boiling in a pan. Lank pale tendrils, a pigs head looking blank. Milky cataracts, our fretful sun rises, the moon gnaws on its own grey forearm. Such fetish horror, to bake our daily bread.
Four walled measurement curse. A squirrel pelt marmota monax hung from rusted fascias neck tied rapping on a work-day window. Immortal season beast or bestiaries. The repetition of real or imagined dead animals.
A severed past knotted in laces kicked off to browse footwear catalogues for old, tired feet. Bootlace snake venom pushed occasionally into thirsty veins as deliberate ignorance ingests pain-tolerant test papers.
Burning world, starved world struck on a tinderbox. Bespoke tailored suit, Prada shoes coughed from the lungs of a charred street carcass. Politicians shovel coal to shut mouths. Placate greed, handfeed tiny birds.
Polar-bear winter fuel club discussing variable ice thickness. To trust in human meat as reliable energy source. Gather your bitter snow-storm. Invade empty streets. Chew them up besides cold, lonely hearths.
Restless sheet music. Polyrhythmic artery congestion table. The daily rise and shine as pestilence. Our gratuity packages are to be squeezed of all marrow. All souls liquified into bone thin broth. Moth at night, aimless.
A fantasy prison break. I won’t forget your face as I fly. Blue-throat migrations. A freedom deathless as a drying room wrapped in oil softened fabric. Argan. Saponin. Olive. Essential lavender perfumes.
The expected pain of separation. An unzipping of skin to climb into the body of a fox. To become the hunted again. We can all go if we disguise our home as a death crater, some beautifully faked identity documents.
The arc split open, and two by two return to land. Split waves to see a horseshoe crab, a seahorse. Return your blood to sand, flesh to soil, and spooky ritual. Run very far away. Omnipotent creature, become disassembly.
Mania as expressed
avoidant late payment
charges or the way
attic beams sporting
wounds dampen, are
always ready at night
to fall, suffocate like
duvets full of terribly
graphic dreams where
sweet sugar in mouths
ready for the rasp of
struck matches before
boom everything has
been controlled, is fine
until torrid water drips,
red lights on the dash.
Then know that I am
held into jarred position
besides bleak suits, very
tall expressionless men.
[Stuart McPherson is a Forward Prize nominated poet living near Leicester in the UK. Recent poems have appeared in, or are forthcoming in, Butcher’s Dog Magazine, Poetry Wales, Anthropocene, and One Hand Clapping Magazine. The pamphlet Waterbearer was published in December 2021 by Broken Sleep Books. A debut full length collection Obligate Carnivore will be published by Broken Sleep Books in August 2022.]
Copyright © 2022 by Stuart McPherson, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.