Half Pasts

I dread the death of fate delivered

And scrape up scraps of thoughts dismembered

Long ago, and remember…

 

Through the creeping bloom of red and wine

The rippled wrinkle and lengthened nipple,

That my lewd and lovely life began in London and

I shouldn’t worry if it’s blurry.

I really shouldn’t. See…

 

I’m skewing through and making do,

Pleased now with my

Purloined petal of

Present and future,

Perhaps.

 

The ladies: I took and was taken –

A future doctor, we never played doctor,

So I wanted wilder and found it beneath

A belly-dancer in bed then, in no particular order,

A choke-aholic,

A punk-rock muddle and a middle-eastern

Lair of hair.

It was so soft. It was all so soft,

The fumbled feel of female.

 

I speak too much, though, as my memory goes,

Divulging these shimmering, spotty, spud-like spores,

But they help, you know, they crumple my hell

And soothe the sins of hand on skin

In the dog-shit summer smell.

 

In stink, in waves, in dark and days,

It comes back, sometimes,

It gnaws and throws itself up,

Grows itself up,

Mows itself down.

 

In the crepuscular crevasse of consciousness,

In a thumb-split trick of transcendence

I was a child once, in Africa,

And through the deadly dim eyes of buffalo I learned

To fear the indifferent ignorance of inbuilt violence.

 

But a handful of maggots made my small madness

A malady, a nervous tick that came and went like a drunken devil,

Doing my head in and heading out then

To god knows where.

I was okay, but I don’t know why

It doesn’t come back.

 

A wildebeest skull. Bougainvilleas. A barometer. They were there.

I saw snakeheads in the painting.

I saw the circumcision masks.

I saw them dancing.

And I can’t forget

The untempered temper of father

Ramming with car and finding crying mother dying

To herself.

I still don’t know why.

 

Half-baked, half-changed, remarkable,

Half whittled-away, cleansed, putrefied.

Life is fucked and fantastic. I don’t know why.

Life is fucked and fantastic and

 

I don’t know why we want to still them, to kill them,

Because memories are monk-like,

Then monkey-like in their devolution,

In their degeneration.

Repaired, retarded, dented, demented

It’s how I survive,

And for me the degradation is fine

For these half-false and fragile fragmentations

These infant histories of mine stitched in

An ultra-fine weave

Of dream and debacle.