3 poems

by Chris Holdaway


From –hedron

To wade in to wait in,—let’s go, let’s, though
It is viscous outside, and more than light rain. Neighbourhood filling
Up, the lines of trees close
Up like woods, and yet unlike woods
There is something invisible when
The ground seems relatively clear to walk through.
The medical sun & ornamental time. . . .it has been some time
Since time was mentioned. The door opens chromatically as well
As geometrically,—I see I hear what you’re saying—but the doors of such
A decrepit hotel no longer close properly anyway; all life inside spills
Eventually as by phonograph into the halls.            Tossing a scalpel
Into machine workings, boiled down to a surface
That rain could not dampen, no sun shine upon, because
That would require something to happen
For longer than the chomping bits of pace which changes all.
Leaving home: the space in the street nothing
But densely packed holes, the precise cutoutlines of people
Squeezed out from under
The grasp of breath. They would only ask if it is safe to walk
If colour only seemed to be still
Sleeping . . . Asked in the sense of just sitting before
What should feel impractically insensible,
But there’s the sense that was is impractical is definitely there.
                                    Has everything frozen? Can something instantaneous
Like a sharp sideways glance be now
Drawn out and nonchalant? Up
To the knees in flowers of snow, fire, or static; the beautiful flowers are going
To kill me. Shrunk down into a garden
Explorable like a whole world, but don’t think
I’ll last very long.            Bring something to life and risk
Petrifying yourself, flying the flag of infectious diseases &
Poisonous mindsets. Become a suit of armour, a shell
Housing only what you wouldn’t do; fixed upon matted light that matters.

Cafe by Thomas Gillaspy
Cafe by Thomas Gillaspy


Foggy lights, stellar cues, arrived bashed up and dancing with
Spring pause, inflating battered trees in a burnt
Moment, in a moment burnt.          Distant
News first, then close.          The unnatural lights of steadyburning
Towers existing; birds are skinned and killed by comparison
Under perfectly clear skies.          Alightened space appears
To hold red
Death’s halo, like a clearing in forest words, like the poise of
Guywires posing
A fatal threat.          Towerkill is a phenomenon
Like any other, blind for the ceiling of haze, the dress of rain
Burying clouds in heads in the sand,
—And now the shade
—And here I lay

—Stars by idle stairs, born on a tide
Reined with weighted hands.          I turn my face to the floor, feeling
If we all pointed feet to West, we could
By gravitation halt continental drift.          Rivers sheltered
Ain’t oceans broken; so close and yet here
You are closed down.          Spring water came like Spring
Silk & shawl limbs exchanging their leading
Edges.          The wreath appeared on my door drives against
The grain incessantly on.          It pumps sweet air directly into the locks
Of my heart.          A migrating breeze who often circles the reeds &
Tower lights at night with the song
That fair sings, well how can that be fair at all?

                                                                                                            —for Mark Hollis

A coat of arms

The wind is so strong it blows
Even the sunlight sideways. Iron ochre in
The air, a diagonal bend
Of bells with straight edges, fast enough to
Skip self-
                    intersection in nonorientable surfaces.
Time freezing like over a lake makes little indecisions in
To a whole second. The practical geneses
For planet landscapes,—looking up
To a nightingale’s constellated
Entrails—rough as hedging
That tells the stories of those surfaces turning
Into spaces.          People with carnation ash
Skin carry radiant helmets of inverse
Halo rays, their iron-maidens, with false arms
& telescopic blush. Labels from fallen clothing; the spirit of
Unmistakable drowning. “You get into water
To get out,”
they say. Through forgotten superheroic elements
Taking place, observed in the wild
Charges across a field divided by
Gold not to be confused
With gold not to be
Confused with
Or . . . And oh,
                        and if you’re gone . . .
                                                A mineshaft yearning for the source
Of its birds gets up and out and walks
Along gridlines of fallen trees in unplanned towns.
The woods were still
Dangerous then, desolate tense, every step
A crusade through the thick ash
Frame holding up the air. You’ll find
Weak light
Love deciding to wash over the fragile bell of hills
Falling, laced up in the sun’s lesions. My right arm is
Burned most from the morning trek North and turning
South back home. Wilderness walks without land—no natural doors
Or mountains to close; to turn the other cheek
To the Western Sun.