Night and day are so alike
tea and cake ease the grief
seething with ideas maids will
without blood without pestilence
hear subjects cured by rapidity
at the speed-healing pageant
statues of wooing cannot be moved
not for donkey’s or several intimacies
the word for fool
Sure, I thought that I was pure holy law
when they lived here when they lived with us
when they lived and served and sickened
when I became mother
brought the entertainment kit
bridesmaids best men
Kira the striptease artist Lil
Radiator Duke his son Max
Heart Mary who never answers Yes
Hans and Skoda Cha Da (promoting living expenses)
Fetid Glory Rub of Opinion
I can score one I can store one
they stumble in custom designed
surfing in malay
On his holiday, Kid saw water birds
in the painted cloth, saw how everything hung
when he wasn’t looking somewhere beyond.
The report claimed he lost her.
It is complicated. A weird-song.
She brought undulations to the land.
He collected limestone fragments,
sketched the brilliant beaches, wrote in his diary
about her humiliating career, its gaps, its pleasures.
She once told him to beware such relief,
that malice and wedlock are not to be indulged.
‘Water is light and calm,’ she wrote. ‘Is quietly beating.’
Before they drove him to the airport,
Kid told them they should question the hood and the veil,
their soft subterfuge, their stakes in the swamp.
Kid Lost Consciousness and was Ill-defined by Moonlight
I am willing under most circumstances
to be brought to the point of citrus pleasure and rejoicing,
more so when the season’s futile desire
is pledged to pummel its rhythms
on an alter of youth and fecund horsepower.
I can be persuaded to lie with swine
when the eulogies are over, when the ashes have cooled;
to reserve fishing trips with the soft-bodied beetles,
luminous in abdomen, squishy parlour-maids
of sylphs and badass lamentations.
But if I overhear the ripened berries
discharge their solemn oaths in the mystery-patch
I will buckle with puberty and pale broth,
and bury the proof in the Doom Bar.
Mark Russell has published ℵ (book of moose) (Kattywompus Press), ا (the book of seals) (Red Ceilings), Saturday Morning Pictures (Red Ceilings), Pursued by Well-being (tall-lighthouse), and Spearmint & Rescue (Pindrop Press). He lives in a forest on a hill in the Scottish Highlands.