london skies are graphite and aggrieved. here, patrician
chimneys, an ambulance’s blue disquiet; sparrows, flags,
a turbulence of starlings. days we cannot coax our own
bent luck to breathe; no time for bliss or frill, for feeding
pigeons from the windowsill. on days like these fate finds
us peevish, lame, and destined for some penance. or
for coffee’s unprincipled liquorice spree. our tongues
will turn the loamy earth like spades. we know where to
go: away from all the wet brains running their frictionless
mouths; the carbon-neutral haircuts, declaiming their cold
idea. ours is an afternoon’s bruised republic: a creaking
stair, the crooning french, a semi-coherence of weather,
words. where poems come, these cannibal colossi, eat
the flesh that falls from me. art, in carnivorous mufti, puts
out a pristine polar light, as finite as a trial. to remain at
large, and undevoured: this is a skill that’s practiced by few.
to name but two, the girl for whom all smiles are storms;
saint icarus as astronaut. by which is meant both me and you.
laugh. to ricochet round galleries, fugitive, uncivilised;
to aim an erring joy, to walk, to seek, to find, at least to feel.
and underneath the fumbled iridescence of a yellow lamp
invent the crooked, reckless real. london skies emphatic
with fractional glare. where a grass verge is sentenced
to dogs, where the moon is a hooked finger, where the moon
hangs pendant and suggestible, pure as a virgin’s earring,
pure as a medici pearl. we do not see the world the way they do,
want parables and tangerines; velvet lapels, the gold auratic
swell of holy things. to ask *why not? *to push our luck down
alleyways abandoned to their infamy, and saloon bars beneath
a chandelier’s prodigious silly crystalline. to want the world,
in short, entire, and make the asking plush. sweet to an unfixed
occasion of flowers. to lean into adventure in second-hand
shoes. to embrace the doleful spectrum, the fallible and riotous
too. though sometimes we might sit in squinting phobic
at the news, we rise again: wayward, lazarian, to meet
the future anywhere with thirst. god save us,
from the petty spiral of hindsight; from forgetting
under london skies, to count out each shivering,
ostracised star.