DAY IN THE LIFE
Through a skylight
late morning’s smelting hammer
strikes with a migraine.
Bedclothes stir, veined hands snake about,
fend off warm covers.
M. Jacques follows his belly
upwards from bed, gropes down,
teeters as he squats chin to knees,
right hand lifting nightshirt,
left-hand’s knuckles forming knots
around a chamber-pot.
On straw chairs aligned in the square
he and his friends absorb the sun’s heat.
Pale rays generate memories
of times that were green
awaken slight, long dormant sensations
as buttocks are teased by the prickly straw
and spring juices rise, flow and spread.
A glow of musty furnishings
and aged mahogany.
A glass pane bars out cold night air
as the old man bakes by the fire.
Alas, warm fumes catch in his throat,
he gasps, he coughs,
his fat tripe quivers –
song-birds nesting inside?
quickly, a chamber-pot –
while a full moon blushes
at a rosy backside.
In homage to Rimbaud
Paul and I …
were we the poems?
verses written in wine
refined with hash, distilled with absinthe.
We scrambled senses
in this city of taverns and brothels,
we were rain-ragged gargoyles
squirting from eaves on the Notre Dame
children throwing stones at a doppelganger
shrieking insults and running from view.
I wrote words
sharper than a knife thrust,
rubbed salt into the wound
bled through seasons in hell.
My wildest dreams, my illuminations
proved as imperfect as streetlights
to be douted at dawn.
Words slapped together on a page
surged and fell with the flow of the Seine
spiralled into drains
lost their way in the sewers.
cheap wine made from barrel washings.