Monthly Archives: January 2012

a night outside

A scoring of bucket-dreams, ticked off to each

point of light reflected, refracted

in skein-thin slicks sitting some kind of greasing

 

splitting to scores of sores therein, a spectrum

of what might be hope, what may be shovelled –

in gassing, or shocking, or simply talking

 

behind backs turned and inebriated – my head

remains in hands I am no longer certain

are my own – the glass swells nonetheless to you


the manners of the urbane II

the headsets ache their way through a split-

screen vision of homes for sale, perfection

in creases lost, wrappings of plastics hide their

hours when cloth was torn – toothmarks

somehow still visible though lips not sore

 

forearms stretch to repetition, a death outside but

forgotten in ends: there are bones there regardless

 

kitchens sink away, concretes creep and open plan

displays her best intentions, spread wide beneath

a bespoke desk heavy with distraction – a calendar

 

scored with once-promised days. Scripts appear,

voices rise anew: we remind ourselves of breathing


the manners of the urbane

draughting keys cut strips of days

we hack their way through locks of air

on days like these, wonder why we stay

inside for hope of a change of season

which came regardless, a wish or a space –

in which to wish, and wish but still

 

She’ll find her end, stuck away

found in a car somewhere and

 

carbon monoxide replaces us

piece by wind-struck piece


The Hothouses – Final Edit

It is incredibly rare that  I revisit or rewrite poetry. However, this poem has some real significance to me and I am hoping to get it picked up by a decent publisher. So, here we have it, rewritten and re-edited a third time – a little leaner, a little cleaner. The Hothouse is our gendered microcosm, a sweating, heaving mass of glass and foliage where we are grown into male and female specimens, blooming unnaturally early, our stems bending towards some muted light. Feedback extremely welcome.

The Hothouses

a poem in five parts by Benjamin Norris

1.

The heat in here stays constant, netted

kept unmoving, billowed down.

Down all, all the leaves to

lethargic rubbered limbs – I can only

ascertain who comes or goes by read-

-ing the peaks in this dim but varied

show of slanting white-wet lights

2.

wrought iron corridors
this swelling, lead crystal-
-ised sweat rises and
congregates in old fields

obese lungs, panting.
A stamen paralyzes the

hacking of mists. Some-
where, damp leaves
a shattering.

3.

We grow inside houses.

It may be easier
to find us – look inside
there’s a space where you can see
a battle with the urge
to simply orbit one another
swinging around a larger mass
we haven’t found a word for
yet. The days drop off,
we spend one moment
seeking ways to wound,
the next lost in grasses with
blades splitting skies, and these
useless links are what birth us
to ensure we never really move

4.

You spoke of long-gloved hands: you claim to not
see where the climbers stretch to, only spaces:
the leaves are powder. Distance swells, unorganic

a beating through the lead-lined frames: afterthoughts
assume your shape: you remember that before we burst
husks, there was a minute when we were not

5.

What happened here?
the window lining pulled away – just
an inch, a curve allowing
different airs

to penetrate
the sticky mass, the bulb
heaving with humidity

so all clamour to the splitting
shock grows out from the glass –
the vapour’s fit for breathing

the vapour’s fit for breathing
though fast closed up again:

enthusiasm soon resembles
panic: grassy hysteria gums
and tramples underfoot while

spring passes by outside
as we knew it would.


to tread

our traffic follows wakes: it would seem you

weigh out your steps with afterthoughts and

the spaces left fill nonetheless

 

the turning of snow shows: we wish

to walk without leaving tracks behind

until the days we were are not

 

yet still we don’t erase regardless:

clues are scattered, the paving bends before

memories of spring arise unbidden


Janus

the morning brought sheets of grazing snows
fighting for feet amidst memory of spring
at times like these the promise of hope is a
seasonal shift, an answering mind
brought on winds which whip themselves east and
cough over tracks. I see bones under skin and

remember that I am a long way from there
where I learnt to breathe bottles and teachers
would leer through jars holding artifice made
to mimic the plants that push through the paving
and remind us why – so hard to leave
but the hard ground will split in the summer


three years

They tell you: keep your birthplace in mind

and wrap yourself in family ties,

each birch branch

leaves raised tracks on skin but

 

Idle parentage makes for particular genes

a realisation: we go back as far as

roots will allow

wrapped up in themselves below

 

two hundred million, six hundred and a

thousand thousand footfalls brought

me far away for

old walled cities keep me kept

 

Yet I struggle – shake the taste from

a tongue tied in etiquettes

England follows

and drags flags at my heels