Blackbox Manifold

Issue 12: Angus Sinclair

from Sonnets for Billy Barrix

Billy Barrix strides into the baking

south on Wednesday to find Gandhi inside

an ATM machine & a headache

which feels like hibiscus or fresh cut fruit


  It is going like a cloud of creamer

  black coffee on the rooftop beach terrace

All your choice wish Barrix  your name engraved

on grain of rice  cocktails after curfew

  or  for example  a hundred year-old

  turtle explodes against the sea defence

   a ring of kids around his bloody face

    suddenly circles seem significant

    It’s hard to make the sea mean anything

    so after two nights I always skip towns

the gleaming roadside shrines the gentle lake

in this light like solid gold   and elsewhere

I am here   I watch the ferryboat bob

like a ribcage rising softly falling

  Mama  it is going like sandalwood

  aerosols like cakes of rose toilet soap

  and the sun sets every single day

Sir what you look I have seen you before

trying to make a mistake on the beach

 Billy Barrix wonders what his feeling

  the beach is a Beach is a masala

omelette with a view  looking is for free

    crows fuss around the air like black plastic

    sacks in a gale    the sea hushes itself

slept in luggage rack on the sleepy train

morning develops  Put a ten in place

of five  mutate and burst through yesterday's

yellow curtain at the Ashby Hotel

  all day the hallway men shout in slapstick

 dial #9 for salt-lime soda scotch in wax-

 paper cups   lunch is simple as hushed brown

potatoes or Handicapped Credit Card

Reservations  I’ll be by the bar snacks

eavesdropping in English  in the silence

of middle-aged couples stare at Barrix

   so here’s hoping here as in place will fold

    as imperceptibly into a now

    as in purpose as in cocktail napkins

beginning again the classic tracking-

shot  qualities of dusk &c.

wheat-field workers watch the sleeper roll through

has entered and left Barrix in silence

  It is going like lotus flower cups

  of country liquor  they take like lyrics

   paani bottle bonfire block-print bazaar

   a field full of hard work is beautiful

Knowledge Updation is Power of Strength

because actually I am taking

collectables & gods and your good name

  if it looks abandoned then probably

    it isn’t   no photographs of sunsets

    no flashes inside the inner sanctum


water wets Barrix & the Honeybee

softens the heart a little scavenger

hunt redrafting his accumulations

  Mama it is going it is going

  not-towards  the sun I find is ringing

  like a bell is a little yellow tear

 on a gin-blue river but not at all

yogic  Steps especially which include

breath control help  I find I am a trace

of myself like a word like a silver-

plastic elephant for good beginnings

  and still Barrix wonders what his feeling

    separate from his voice  the sound that drowns

    all choices is the noise of the market

Angus Sinclair's poetry has recently appeared in Ambit, clinic online, and the anthology Dear World and Everyone in it: New Poetry in the UK