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Three chaps from Simon Leyland

Probably

 

A woman says she remembers her own birth

and this is the primary reason

she cannot work to feed herself

but must rest in the afternoons

with a cool cloth over her forehead.

 

She talks about her birth at odd times,

the sensation of air replacing water

like coming up out of the sea

from skin diving, water streaming

over the crown of her head.

 

She raises the story, an umbrella

held between her fingers that fails

to shield her. Always the intrusion

of recollection, the assault of a multitude

of colours after the dim interior,

the screech and clank of the world.

Ever since, she has found the human voice

too precise. Swimming underwater

is of some relief, and certain medications

kept in large supply at her bedside.

 

This is the way the world has damaged her,

the curse of memory starting its engine

prematurely. Always she seeks forgetfulness:

lying down in corridors; throwing coins

into the throats of vending machines;

rearranging her red dishes

in the safety of the cupboards. Still, her bones

recall the crush, and the headaches come,

and she retreats to the canopied bed,

curtains pulled close like a membrane,

the pendulum clock a second heartbeat

overriding her own.

 

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“Title”

 

emotion concentrated in

small things fifty mosquito bites

thirty on the legs “the” only

cure for “the” itch

was counting them “the only” way

to stop scratching

“was” writing about “them” (“in” my

death i am alone but “the” pain

of “my death” will be shared with you)

“the” base “of” this

hand (covered “with” burns and rashes

aches “and” pains all

“you” can say “you” own) “the” lint “in”

your pockets (“all you” really “own”)

one fruit “in” which many fruits are

collected “and”

“i” offer “you” half (“this” is “the”

most delicious

bit) “but” Valerie “you” must

never put bananas “in” “the”

refrigerator she presses

herself against

“the” door “and” “this” “door” is over

one hundred years

old very fragile please do not

lean against it or try “to” force

“it” fully open (thanks) like “the”

hotel whose name

“she” shares alive “and” trembling “with”

 

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Dear diary

 

This passing reference to

The sound of a car passing in the night

Sheds light on the more obvious

Angles of the possible movements of

The immense and deadly

Shadow organisations

Whose formidable criminal genius

And panther like stealth is now at your fingertips

 

It is time to jettison the excess baggage

And open the floodlights illuminating all those squatters

living in the ellipses

Not to mention the water sheds

 

Yes, it is all out in the open now.

So it was you my friend, who reduced

My soliloquies to babble

Consigning me to oblivion.

 

Let me let you in on a secret –

I have always wanted to be consigned to oblivion.

It is my expression of our great cultural death wish,

And, contrary to popular belief,

Oblivion is not an island whose chief port is Encomia

(or formerly in Roman times, Ecomium)

 

 

 

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