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Index of titles

Amis amiss

Derrida’s teleology…

Faustina, Tour Guide, Regrets

Follow Me Down

Kingdom Come






Follow Me Down

I guess at how these addictions turned

Into today’s stone mortuary, a cold world

Of daylight where everything is neglect –

My suburbia a reference point

Where the fences pale, and the way is bindweed

Heaped on a path running dawn to dawn.

I recall, by whatever stimulant,

Yellow lamplight on the unearthly presence

Of bottled ink, made a phantasmic

Diamond brightness, and how in a garble

Of half-chewed sentences I announced

All transformations were possible.

That mesmerising flicker shared its music

In the first dead hours when the city

Shut its eyes. Seductive chords, and a depth

Of basses voiced natural opposition

To the world of deserted streets, in a shade

Of sleepy blue in every blanked-out house.

I vied for instant sachets, the currency

Notes or IOUs, set in the same clutter

Of discarded poker hands, while magic

Particles, poured onto a vanity glass,

Assumed meticulous regimentation

Under a guiding hand with a razor blade.

I remember the disintegration

These hallucinations meted out,

Off-colour chords decaying into discord,

Pleasure contra dependency, the insane

Daily pursuit of the paradise

Prophets and poets had shrilled about.

Once, under the hard dead light of dawn,

I found myself in a neighbourhood

More angular than my own, and there pleaded

With a boy laden with newspapers,

Not entirely confident I’d understood

His directions home, and stumbled away.

Materiality threatened its return

In the brittle textures of twilight,

When I had spent hours after midnight

Afloat with the garbage piled in a hotel

Yard, lost to a soft delusional light

And a weightless elevation.

Now somehow I’m here,

In the ruins of Berry Pomeroy Castle,

In a cascade from old nightmares to new,

In a white ache, under a blue light,

Where a disembodied voice is urging me

On, with a ‘Follow me down’—

And I tell myself I don’t know how this happened.

First published in the anthology A Most Haunting Castle, ed Bob Mann, Longmarsh Press (2012)