A spinning plate finds its centre
on the pole's axis. Flat or round
the world pulls everything to its core.
This is crutch. All we have and all we know.
This need for flesh persistent in the face
of pixels and bytes, inviting eye-bags
and pistols, rubber-flipper masturbation
under a waterfall of pennies, the clunk
of mechanical shutters and asphyxiation,
dancing teens with vampires in the veins
and bills to pay. All we know and all we have.
This dark stain on concrete, one we can't
convince our children isn't blood,
their faces on the billboards of our vanity,
knowing a crack baby's tears won't salt our palates.
Car-crash crane-neck wish-fulfilment,
a reflex quicker than a nicked finger between
wet lips, a kicked dog's whine and wine in a box,
all we know, all we have,
a corner chipped off the raw block, a nook
with chimes more familiar than faces
reassuring us there's still a pulse.
Television at red lights, vending machine umbrellas,
allergy masks and magnetic passes, the need
for pillow-talk suppressed by pocket mirrors
and man-mascara. This is crutch.
Shoulder-bag black market free trade,
hyphenated lifestyle choices
and all we know and all we have.
Lower case god on a cornflakes packet
and church on Saturdays. Immaculate
copulation revisionism, rosary bead
fashion accessories, hymn-book hip-hop samples
and overweight angels. This is crutch,
this rush-hour hand-job from a stranger
and all we know and all we have,
reliable enemies, rubber stoppered confessions
and censored diary entries. Pat-downs
in every doorway, metal detectors in the walls,
eye scanners and voice activated water sprinklers.
All we know and all we have.
This is crutch, this arbitrary demarcation
of planes of consciousness, beginnings
and endings, frames and punctuation,
cigarette-burn paralysis tests
and Rorschach inkblots. Screws missing
in our flat-pack lives, plucking limbs like petals
in search of love, all we know and all we have.
The plate spins, the cat feeds itself
and a sleight of hand disposes of the body parts.
Waking up forgetting our names, counting
one-two arms and one-two legs,
patting backs to check the wings
are still folded, that slumber's hook
didn't drop us in this glass-ceilinged dream.
The complete collection.
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