Blackbox Manifold

Issue 10: John Kinsella and Drew Milne

from Reactor Red Shoes

that was the badger that was

     before human news sprays

     its dark prints into greased

and permanent nocturne: this

     marks the gene pool stern

     banks blown spore diffusion

how abstract is the spreadsheet

     liquidation of infected agents

     after the initial lag phases is

sore depletion membrane wars

     the data mined to spill cries

     saying here was the deadline

there is a crease fracture done

     to rivulets, the slickwaters

     will find ways in the bloods

the dusts so silting said pools

     even as space labs still fall

     among compromised oceans

to the sound of one trident

     fracking still, so ever stills

     the cull, the sorting out,

the levelling of all playing fields

     to maximise interest: plenary

     is as plenary does, address

to chest or ribcage, full-blown

     lungs to take the flash,

     a lustrous broccoli, bronchioles,

anterial clutch to pin all hopes

     of marathon elusiveness,

     pleural creativity, which

precedes the utterance or thought

     in damaged centres, mind

     gaps, computed tomography

ionizing cellular repair making best

     of what’s on offer, down

     the track, down the hatch,

light up pretty picture contrast

     resolutes what age expectation

     halved to infant variable: take

heed take hold take stock, weigh

     degradation’s lost morphemes

     and phrases, so little time

proffered for acquiring languages,

     for the good of, what alternatives,

     choice of two evils mark down

the hatch is just the start up

     rigged metaphor marking

     heeder is for stratifications

and heeded is one firm drool

     in the mashed value ladder

     for which sin is the going rate

but there’s no hatch to speak of

     and nothing but the takings

     saying on down in the mouth

is reason, here’s to the dumped

     and maudlin recycling plant

     in which song is but stains

among remaindered noodling

     with the curious orange of

     agent chemical factor and

its burnt ring of acidic in the

     virus plume, cross hatched

     something about cheapness

brings the fight back to livings

     with the table newly cleared

     for red shoes over dust bowls

how post-withdrawal tautologies

     accrue on production lines,

     shopfloor cleaning products

cleansweeping ballet de cour

     among brass shavings, depleted

     uranium, cartoon fixating

cultural cringe, co-pilot to ground

     control, weapons systems

     chaise longues reflexological

Hellfire air-to-surface translator:

     ‘it’s a joy it’s a joy it’s a joy’

     and: ‘love is PlayStation

love is Xbox love is all fingers

     and thumbs’, that Labanotation,

     that ballet d’action, that

contrast of freeze-frames, voids

     as snowbound passes are closed

     to ground traffic; rewatch

on your toes credits to rewrite

     hardware gift vouchers,

     lingering notation or weapon’s

signature, a specialism of absence,

     a sticking your nose in

     to our great choreodramma

that’s OUR with capital blazons

     the royal fighter leaving its

     contrails in media ambers

how the rose quartz lifts

     hears the thrill of bandits

    in the morning mushroom

John Kinsella's recent works include Divine Comedy: Journeys through Regional Geography (2008), Shades of the Sublime and Beautiful (2008), and Jam Tree Gully (2011).

Drew Milne has been the Judith E. Wilson Lecturer in Drama & Poetry in the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge, since 1997. His books of poetry include The Damage: New and Selected Poems (Salt, 2001), and Go Figure (Salt, 2003)

Reactor Red Shoes, from which this extract is taken, is forthcoming with Veer Press.