Issue 19: Ian Seed


At our gate, oozed mudlarks.

One in five has optical spore clusters

above the entrance to the fat beach

girlfriend. It seems larder

and his blind finger piece

or the other way around.

This plus footage. We’re going

for a slow one. But it is

the sort of smoke which stretches

the whole. Buggers pet.

My nose is coming in a uniform

on the path still and grey

scratchy down the valley in the distance

drool packages toilet resort

cobbled plotless and numinous.


The plate got up and walked across the table

There was some fun in your eye

Spite of the no-nonsense no-how look

It seems I have been planning the tone

Born of a four-legged desire

I agreed to come to an agreement

Find the wanton thee by the roadside

It’s all one to me I should say so

Bringing it up on the bright bus

It’s all one with this wilderness

First it was the only one to marry me

I know who kept it so easily and young

While it was worth waiting for

Not down by the worst river but other

One side took it and then the none

For me to come to you this way

Is another story altogether

Come to us via a tearduct

Or perhaps a million of them

This head brought on a plate

No telling whose path this is

Once in a while we keep to it

Flying into the intimate space of you

Not crying out loud perhaps

Yet down the whitening heal of your cut

The distance dubbed over with unfinished rain


galloping is an emergency gait and the people just drift over

often with rear feet at the table named Jack

most large animals are a rather mannered girl he was supposed to be

their feet and kept making fun of her contrasting strategy

starting out as that sort of evening retreats along established paths

which she loved so much that they know the location in emergencies

when noise is no consideration except a softer future heading south

The Being of Distances

I haven’t managed to distract you. She washes herself in cold water,

this type of thinker. Keep on the trails. It is not that God has moods,

astonishing Helene, but dear friend you have another burial, so breathe

with all your heart. I swear that with you I want nothing more

than the old carpenter – his hours slow, the years fast. This small being,

being alone, was at… Let’s not throw roses. You seem familiar and limpid.

I don’t know if you ever tried to remember a windy evening with no escape.

I exchange my tears. They pedal together in a street of the sea. One begins now

the cutout piercing cries which – me too, are you inviting me? Opening

his arms when they don’t see him appear gives me a sharp satisfaction.

She makes her way between the tears. Busy men (themselves included)

leave at a good hour, continuing to dream the true fruits they could touch.

Little by little the two of us keep raining. Time stands still. If in order

to choose among them on the evening of the second day, he threw himself

into an economic venture offered to him between wide legs, growing warmer,

would I like it when you lean on me? Yes, this life is sweet, but have you done

your sums, drowning in the truth? They march at my sides. I see them

from behind. One hopes to be able to discover a method. I cannot imagine

an end, listening far from the river. Would you like a cigarette rolling?

Longer still the same beauty, each morning he watched me working. We arrived

in front of the closed door. To disguise himself from himself he passed

as a nomad already on the plain. One morning the phone rang. Faithfulness?

Rather his own poverty when I shook his hand between two distances shining.

He put his revolver on the table. I picked up my school book.

The empty nada, naked feet in sandals. Between two horizons he offered

his hand for the first time. We embraced without a word. Yet deprived of consolation

again I saw fragile lucidity between one city and another, till I tore myself away.

Let it stand then. I was at his mercy, still smoking with an absent look.

The ink faded, and she cried demanding what I would do. To the fire, the fire officers

to decide the question of horizon without knowing any of his occupations. Your

mouth and mine. And the monsters? How is Helene getting on? Which perspective and sweep

for a population of thieves? What shadows climb the walls following

your solitary trajectory? It was few months after our separation, my face

like the painting came upon and countenanced the extraordinary calm.

Incredible voices called you to dinner in the sky before the stars

could put you to sleep. Now I am exposed, deciding whether to believe

in the cold of your blue eye. There are many candidates for what is real. I cherish

the police. Much darker now in his open hands, palms upturned,

I would like to rest, yet I pass to another call of the sky, sincerely

as a policy invite, the store of dead reality almost without gesture.

Yet we have to race through the halls, meeting three people named George

on the same day. Decidedly our flight is from the real, which sleeps with a sleep

different in itself, until a far voice puts us back on our feet. How much is that?

We brush up against tears. We are fairly under way. He carries fingers.

I see you truly, your hand which consoles. For Monsieur is good, Madame

is beautiful. In search of us, they ran out onto the snow-covered field, leaving us

with their own glimmering.  The end is nothing if not a passage, voices heard from afar,

and laughter from those evenings of a time which no longer has a place.

Ian Seeds books include Identity Papers (Shearsman, 2016), The Thief of Talant (Wakefield, 2016) (the first translation into English of Pierre Reverdy’s long poem, Le Voleur de Talan), and Makers of Empty Dreams (Shearsman, 2014). New York Hotel is forthcoming from Shearsman in 2018.