Owl, Cat, Ghost

owl
       eyes, night creature, out of reach
owl
       predator, rush of white wings
owl
       cold hoot, but I am unafraid
       fly with me
owl
       take me to the night.

cat
       eyes, slinking muse, lone
cat
       fur-sheathed powerpack
cat
       my gentle omen, self-contained
       lead me
cat
       walk me through the night.

ghost
       eyes, glinting mist, disquiet
ghost
       transmuted mental web
ghost
       breath from hell, feeding me fear
       teach me
ghost
       give me the night.

untitled (‘The sadness is not his tame blue eyes’)

The sadness is not his tame blue eyes
       and his soft grey hair
       and his gentle smile.
The sadness is mine.
The sadness is
       down off the walls, into the boxes
       down from the shelves, into the cases
       out of the drawers, into the bags —
This sadness is a highway.

Pass me your mist,
       these careful eyes,
reach out once, crossing a distance.

Name my highway.
Name my highway.

Bare wall.
Inert paint on a bare wall.
I am so sad
Oh wall
I am so sad.

Skeleton

Bring to mind a nylon garden
and a paper bird-bath.
A lead bird with four wings
and a plastic gardener with aniseed eyes.

Do you like it?

Imagine a melamine desert
and steel tumbleweeds.
A bald saloon with rubber walls
and a silicon bartender with margarine lips.

Do you like it?
Will you eat here?
Do you like your restaurant?

Can you see your name
on your chair
where your hot skeleton waits
for its chemicals?

Bring to mind a Jell-O cubicle
with a painted view.
A fur television with fifty screens
and a holographic prostitute with no legs.

Do you like it?
Will you stay here?
Do you like your hotel?

Can you see your needle
on your table
where your tainted skeleton shakes
for its input?

Imagine a titanium bathroom
a velour phone
and a three-armed valet with corduroy hair.
This will be yours. Do you like it?

(First published in Malleable Jangle)

Slick

The fear is overwhelming.
Disturbingly, I dream
of you with your slick black hair
your wide smile
and your comic accent.
A roly-poly person,
you suit a t-shirt:
your business shirts are too tight.

In my dream, I can see you clearly.
It really is you and not just the idea of you.
We’re in a room, talking.
How old are you?
I guess 30
but I could be wrong.
I’ve known you two years.
Are you married?
Do you have children?
What do you do at the weekends?

You notice a tape on my desk.
We discuss music, finding
we share some tastes
and I, stupidly, am surprised
to find you human
underneath.
I get such a smile out of you.

Disturbingly, I dreamed.
Disturbingly, I know
when I see you next
my nerves will leap:
may I be your friend?
The fear is overwhelming.