Issue 19: Duncan Montgomery
The Heavy Horse
Feeble shadow, winter over-reacher,
do you big him up?
Blinkered, he misses the pity of children
wistful themselves for blinkers, for their own
redaction; ploughs his sodden corridor
we would trade vistas for – or, at least, this
berm to chipped bank, forested
dingy with garlic,
cupping the mist and the lights of the old A1 –
to test the sirens’ wail at Seaton Delaval:
‘Things ebb and flow, wax and wane in their specifics
without a deducible cause’, and worse;
‘with no net change but another house built
for the burning. Now as then it was paid for
by people in coffeeshops. What change there is
is petty’ – is enveloped by the sirens’ net.
Life Drawing with Royal Bed
Most machines will waste energy as heat.
The plug-in heater wastes our subs as sound.
It sits on the floor to stop the model
getting cold feet,
as we sit in the round
behind our hirsute, heavy-grain paper,
whirring and emitting clicks (the heater,
this is) as her bathrobe drops to the ground,
like the camera
that can split the done thing
or a fallen scarf. On the royal bedstead,
the banner seems to hang from tacks, rigid,
rather than fall. It shields the Adam’s groin
and drops down,
via the back of his thigh,
over what would need to be appealing joints
to merit such a covering – denied,
you’ll note, to Eve’s right tit – whilst spelling out
The Sting of
Death is Sin.
Stock-still in the actual act of arming him,
they can’t detect unlikelihood in what
strikes us as rather prudish of the wind:
blown helter-skelter round
what they don’t yet know is their modesty.
Ringed with contours, they were nonetheless flat
in meaning. There was nothing but body.
The Sea Defences
of wire-caged rock
The rows of half-sunk
thinly villaged and pill-boxed
I have come
to jettison abandon;
to let form
form Just As
and its resolution,
starting from the terraces.
Duncan Montgomery is a poet and wood engraver. His poems have appeared in PN Review, The Sunday Times, and in New Poetries VI (Carcanet, 2015).