Blackbox manifold

Issue 15: James Coghill

from After Aniara


lacked meaning as an object of belief

Donkey funeral. Deserves nothing but. Pachomius

                                                                did you think

you’d die of disgust? Rome’s quick sag brought out

                                                         a thirst for abstention

unparalleled        in this charnel       desert. / The river irks me too


                                                       and yet he was

a good monk for all the showy ascetism

                                                                      laid out here

in his hunger singed bones / my dear Abba / remember

we were all struck by the spear, head on



One jar of uncontaminated soil / is owed by everyone

Check your groundwater. Check your geiger counter. The revolution

                                                               is unsinkable. I drink / milky chai

from a pint glass / hope measured by the picogram /

                                                                     with a fierce sincerity

I miss you / my sorrowfully rare       allotrope of affection.       My predilection

                                                                for sin is honestly under the heel

is infuriating and undeniably / innocent / despite the fuck ups

                                                          I am a whore / but this does not mean

a thing. Wilting, I write you a mock epic signed with my heteronym:

The monumental foolishness of living



The pilots are more nonchalant

self-confessed double cynics / loving their cold

                                                               double edge,

resenting the rich and poor / alike / in futurity, they’re as dead

                                                                                       as each other

sensation / is the truth of it / and trusses their moral co-llusions /  thus we

                                                                       crawl from the age of bipolar

to the age of psychopathy / in my dream / King Ghiadorah and Mothra

                                                                    brawl for the honour

of bursting imperial hornets underfoot / They’re coming

here       fatalists of that most recent stamp



atoms that overlay Nineveh’s blocks

churned aside / and the blocks torn up / detonated, chopped

                                                                                       in foul light


whited out: Banitu, Inurta, Alluhappu / The Assyriologists tears

                                                                             are obscure ones

when we fly over / tell the persecuted to cry out in an intelligible language

                                                                                       speak to me

in pogroms since I have a taste for this kind of catastrophe

                                                          and since my complicity

is gorgeous and I cherish its noble, bystander aesthetic

so men sink their teeth into right

James Coghill is an ecopoet currently clinging to the edge of the country by his fingertips. Most recently he has had poems published in Sidekick Books' 'Lives Beyond Us' and 'The Emma Press Anthology of Dance'. He has interests in Swedish language and culture, Christian mysticism, and (of course) ecology He blogs here: