'It is by no means easy to see what can be done -
This is a big town, an incredibly complicated machine.'
I ate lots of raspberries and stammered an apology.
'The division of humankind first occurs in a weak position.'
(The young man coughed distractedly,)
'We're going to need scientists from different countries,
a crashmat for the bottom of the stairs.'

Having got his head more free it could be seen
he was thinking of doing something terminist,
so we turned snitch. We were in love, okay?
He was the worst bird in the petshop,
hardly any feathers covering his little pinkish body,
living under the threat of constant retaliation,
but the people loved him like a simple game.

By comparison I was only local colour.
The scientists preached a tepid calypso,
as good an excuse as any, the sun-like-drunkenness.
At first we looked so convincing up there,
studying our own eyes in a mirror, often
collapsing from exhaustion exacerbated by tight costumes.
After that we looked even more convincing.

I began to notice Rachel's non-diegetic soundtrack,
her fluidity and realism, her addictive gameplay.
When done very finely, opera affirms the status quo.
Installation art and banana daiquiris, pastel coloured cigarettes,
wisdom in the manner of direct speech. I kept going,
they kept paying me. The level of precision required
immersed me. I span around on my spinny chair.


The tributes came pouring in.
My mentor was back in Europe and
someone had sprayed deodorant everywhere.

Not even Rachel could explain our failure
to satirise the irrationality of the war
within the limits of courtesy -

I couldn't face sleeping at the caravan
and the five very similar trees
seemed burnished by the lights of the city.

Yep. When the amazing guitarist
flashed upward to the little square canopies
I followed him, closing the door behind me.

After years of negotiation and 'permission marketing'
I frankly detested the guy just as we all come to resent
our witnesses - undoubtedly this is true.

Once, like an ancient artefact,
We filled in his parts with UV light.
Now you all wanted to get ordained.


After his morning's exertions he stood there silent.
Very few perceived the true inwardness of the paradox.
Fuck it. He clicked on the link. He atomised.

Something odd happened the next time I met him:
the notional boundary was done for.
We paused by the hole which led to the library.

Rachel entrusted me with the unpleasant duty:
breaking the news to the tree surgeons
I could hear voices talking in the audience.

On wet days the non-belligerent countries
unfurled in virtual galleries, but now things went briskly:
well-balanced, random events -

odd corners of distant churches,
a greenish stain and a few bricks,
me and my allies over a candle.

Artists have imagined the spirit:
a firelit cottage folded into the landscape like an egg.
His dirge. My soul arise, break up our lives.


One of our unique contributions
to the history of general happiness
was really being alone:

a session musician knows his own mind.
(Rachel accepted the hint.)
A sudden clatter overhead.

Perhaps you already knew about it:
the purple limb of the nebula
guarding the inside of every entrance.

He went without protest: an earlier hymn.
Wherever he had been he found
vice and misery predominant and wouldn't miss it.

Where was our delight? Abundant space,
lacking the look and feel of the original,
a heavy doom, if you will.

To make matters worse our team abandoned us.
In a way, this was kind of interesting
as far as physical conditions were concerned.

As for the genetic effects: a rudderless derelict
engaged in disedifying pastimes.
I hung my very large head.


My predilection was for the inconsistent.
Descend into the sprawling bowl of the valley
or sit rigid on a chair, staring into space?
Several projects were planned and attempted:
It was part of the life cycle.
I began to divide private and public fear.
Rachel looked at me over the triangle,
feverishly romantic.
If you really are a fraud, don't tell me.
I don't want to know.

    Luke Kennard 2015