I shall be Carthage
To your Rome
I shall circle you
And bite at the exposed flesh
Let these pillows be our Apennines
And your love for another my Alps
You’re fair, my sweet darkness,
As fair as the first Jewish bomb
On a June afternoon,
Beads of sweat collect on your neck
And you’re dynamite
With every drop obliterating a city
You turn and turn
To watch me,
To keep me in your crosshairs
Don’t you know that our fate has already been written,
That I am to die away from you, futilely glorious?
For this is our war
And I am Hannibal.
Flow into me
Like the warm trickle of blood into a knife-cut smile
Like the blue slush of poison into a pink-tinged mouth
Like the fish swirl of semen into an eager woman-cave
These are not the days of wine and roses
The vineyards and the gardens are now army camps
And the bottles have been emptied to make molotov cocktails
All over the world, sunburnt (wo)men have stood up
And are being digitised into geostationary satellites for our grandchildren
These are not the nights of moonlight sonatas
The violins and pianos have been turned into firewood
The sheet music into toilet paper
You can ignore the chaos, but the chaos will not ignore you
Once all this has died down
When man will again discover fire on his skin
In the hope of that technolithic future
Flow into me
Like the snake river of the cryptoIndians
On its way to meet the immortal salamander
A man in a gorilla suit
Sits on the edge of the water and sips coffee
While his head sits beside him
Smiling at a stray kitten.
An ivory-haired musician
Sleeps on the sidewalk
Hoping his snores would attract listeners.
Five young girls
Bathe their young brother
In monthly blood
And Hamilcar Barca looks on, armoured.
Flickering televisions on top of the watchtower
Thunder like cannons over the horizon
As samurais from a Kurosawa film walk down the staircase
To come out and massacre the market crowd.
A couple share a bottle
And a razorblade
Behind them, a horse dreams gently of retirement
And a life in the dormitory.
Text is everywhere:
Faces, breasts, cunts and dangling scrotums
And even on the plutonium-painted screen
(That is, until the power runs ou
Have you seen the multitudes thrive
In inhibited ignominy,
Licking stale blood off each other’s armpits?
No, you haven’t.
You live in a different tier of hell,
Don’t you, dear?
With your cars and your hounds,
The horned butlers
And the iron maidens,
You self-crowned empress,
The whore of Weelzewub.
This is your farm
These are your geese & pigs & calcified eggs
Harvested to be torn apart
And rejoined in a thousand new patterns.
I walk over the eggshells and mongol skulls
Towards your bed.
Your leopard, castrated, painted blue,
Leaps for my throat and chokes on its gold chain.
(I kick the carcass away to reach the final three feet.)
You’re still there: naked, proud, glistening
The Salome of slaughterhouses
Your skin smells of hair
Your hair of skin
Your lips taste of holocaust,
O mistress mine.
The arms open, the breasts sway,
Your nipples – erect – remind me of
Bayonets of riot police from a grainy past
As I, dazed, happy, sad, climb over
On all fours
(My butt thrusting sacrilegiously at your grandfather’s clock)
My chest hair shaved to form your name in the forbidden alphabet.
Your nails tear at my jaw
Your teeth pierce my shaft
You want my fluids, all of them,
As I want yours….. Mother.
Feed me at your breast,
Urinate on my face to wash my sins,
As we blend into each other,
Lost in our coitus fantasticus:
It was another city
One who looked like a fake film star
In plastic jeans.
Seduction was not his forte.
It was another street
One which had smelt of blood for years
Pig blood. Human, too.
Weddings do not look good in crematoriums.
It was another woman
One which turned from magic to middle-class
In the blip of an SMS.
You should not have unclasped your belt for her.
Buttons torn in passion’s wake
(That go hide in nooks of past)
Come back, bringing hidden tears,
Coated with her smell – and dust.
All this is ephemeral.
The soft breeze, the winter morning,
The neon-streaked whorish comfort of Park Street;
These, too, shall pass.
We’re here, there, and everywhere:
Spending away the leased hours
Before we rejoin the Cosmic Nemo.
Seconds matter more than epochs,
Glaciers pass unnoticed while
Tears are tracked every inch of their all-too-brief journey.
Values are rethought,
Ties severed, and retied.
Am I real? Are you?
Does it matter? Does anything?
Where’s Khayyam when you need him?
Who will tell me, then,
What do the spirals in the wine mean?
Droplets of memory
Form on the lilypad that is my mind,
And sparkle in a thousand different ways
As the sun of happiness
Turns its head from one side to another.
Does an infant dewdrop ever betray its age?
The water which forms it can be
As ancient as the laugh-lines of Time itself.
Eternal fraternities; fragile distances;
Afterimages of smoothed-out smiles;
Torn paper flowers
With snatches of sweet nothings;
Like a dark womb woven from spider-silk.
This is life.
I am an emperor.
I am legend.
Caligula, crazed but logical,
I make love to my sister
And sleep with my steed.
Yet my flesh turns cold
And sweat blossoms
When your hand touches my skin;
Your naked, solitary hand.
Your naked, solitary hand.
And as the nice woman,
At the end of the day,
Returns to her boudoir
Sighing all the way,
Sitting before the mirror,
She unclasps her face
And lays it on the dresser,
Like the rest of her race.
Silence is a broken steel egg:
The wind howling through
In a desperate attempt at normalcy.
Dried lips cracking open to utter banalities
Should be sewn shut for their blasphemy;
‘Tis not ours to break,
Frail hands clutching the bedstead,
Anxious faces blurred through a curtain of tears,
Slow pain climbing from the pit of the stomach:
Sweatbeads glistening on bare shoulder,
Lips half-parted in wanton desire,
Breasts cupped in virginal white:
Deserted corridors wrapped in mystery,
Deformed savants frolicking like children,
A moment spent with eternity:
If only every silence were so magical.