Sweets for Breakfast
Sweets for Breakfast
Sweets for breakfast, all the crap of the day
complete in one convenient sitting
like a read-through of some ‘creative writing’
exercise, or speeded-up Dies Irae
at one hundred and fifty beats per minute.
One day, my beaten heart gives up on it,
packs in: the veins and arteries hardening
against me, outraged by saturated fats
as blood-purifying Caliphates
by booze, fast foods – the Government gives WARNING.
Something in the blood – white corpuscles
more terrorist sleeper than blood cells.
The air collapses also: late autumn;
unsentimental windshowers wring and pluck
the trees half-bare (Dutch elm disease, ash dieback),
the blasted habitats of Brock Bottom
shrinking back like gums; tooth-cogs; skeletons
revealed, assumed, bodily, into the heavens,
the fossils of the north: dead mothers; the kid
who should have been at school, or safe at home.
The poet’s less intelligent than their poem:
mathematics to a teenage Euclid
sketching the circle. It’s a guessing-
game in which foreknowing is foreclosing,
though an atmosphere gathers, like November fog
on frost-furrowed farmland repossessed by Lloyd’s
of London. I stumbled through those clouds
as through hiss-buzzing swarms of analogue
static, cosmic background radiation
flooding the heads of a white-noisy nation,
cycled through, without a careful thought,
wobbling through imagination’s unbalance.
Tractors were always Massey-Fergusons –
great red elephants, bumbling, lost, throughout
the blunt country between the lakes and towns.
I trod in cowpats, went the wrong way. Once
you’ve made that first footprint, you can’t go back
(I take as my example, here, Ted Hughes –
subject of that liberal J’Accuse!
of displaced accusation – shaman or quack;
hunter, butcher, murderer, hawk-fancier;
dark horse of the London intelligentsia;
his Sylvia not his Sylvia
but theirs, rising from the ash to eat
the heart out of the English laureate;
star-droplet of essential moonsilver
poised to drip from the furred camellia leaf
delicate, subjective, the pearl of grief).
The footprint in the mud is filled with rain.
The footprint on the moon sealed into dust
is perfect always. Galileo ‘confessed’.
The Holy Spirit, the Father, and the Son
moved him, in their sacred depositions,
inspired his hand through those retrograde motions
regular as clockwork… But I digress.
Again. Teste David cum Sibylla.
Tom the farmer melts into his Celia
underground. They had a sheepdog called Jess.
Yes, it rhymes… But it happens to be true.
Caravans hunched beneath the wishing-tree
in the campers’ field, flickered by pipistrelles
at nightfall, popping in and out of existence
like crackling eye-motes in Albert Einstein’s
worst nightmares; tiny black holes
puncturing the Gore-Tex of the universe.
Physicists are ravenous for pathos.
Your passionate theories make me sick for apathy.
Turn the TV off. The screen goes black
as if the universe had had a heart attack,
infinite, starlit, hospital corridor;
reality’s congenital disorder.