February 29th 1933

The saddest thing for the English to bear, is not what they have lost, but instead
what they know has not yet been found, but is nevertheless enduring in the shadows.
– Derrick Adderage

The house has slid here
to this wide street-middle; it floats
like a dark ship on smooth wet tarmac; it splits
the road that seems to flow slowly

either side of it.

The houses lining the street shrink
as this one house inflates
with where it came from.

And him.

On the house’s corner.
Loitering. His yellow

flat-cap bright,
like a slumped halo. His black

suit, bat-angular. His hands pushed
into his pockets’ blackness. He seems

to lean against the house, but
vibrating grey light shows between

him & its bricks.

Faint fog slowly shakes its cold flags.
Thin black trees do nothing.
(Whilst inside the house a clock has just ticked
sixty-one seconds within this minute.)

Him. He cannot leave the house-corner.
Yet the house’s cellar repels him.
He is stuck to the sick house-ship. Fixed.
Him as its figurehead. Face

as pale as mist. He is

appalled at where he has been. I am
(are you?) appalled by him
& his moist suit black

as the unseen cellar.

Somewhere within this scene
(and within this moment),
yet deep enough in to be

far out-&-down,

there is a boy with a face round as a vowel;
his skin bright white as fresh frost;
his hair slick as crude oil; his wrists red.

He is whispering softly, so softly.
His is almost a girl’s

voice.

Him

on the corner. The man. He trembles
like a lamp struggling in wind. Wind

that  will wrap  him  now

 

Man Dressed in a Journey

He is a passenger
in a car his wife drives. Fibres

of winter hedges-&-3
-dimensional meshes of trees reel.

The sun – a needle’s
tip magnified massive – sinks

into the horizon’s seam.

The man’s trousers are rushing road. He wears

tarmac-&-motion on his legs; the road’s
white lines like his bones,
but painted

onto the cloth of his self’s dark.

His shoes are milestones, then water
-troughs for cattle glimpsed
through faint light. Now

his feet wear
houses – miniaturised
at the ends of shoelace lanes.

The man’s jumper is a weave
of sky-&-branches threaded-here

-&-there-

with telegraph wire stretching away
above his body’s

ground.

This man now moves
his arm to touch
and take

his wife’s hand into his lap. Flecks

of startled blackbird, and possibly owl, detail
his sleeve.

 
Horse Reflecting on Her Time
         in an Upstairs Drawing Room

boy
boy got me
boy got me up there

but horse & stairs go

only one way was
strange stuck-up-high stable was

shine
square shine
square shine above

terrible hot flicker-colours
& pops & snorts of a fiery place

in shine
in watery shine
in watery shine I saw

I am horse

long face framed
in a pane of light

big eyes mine seeing my
big eyes seeing them
see me

I am a horse there

I learned books’ taste
feel of pages in my gut

horse hoisted is how
I ended my peopled dream

a little Pegasus-whiff as
my shape passed

through window to ground

now

now out
now out beyond
now out beyond in wide

out in wide green fields

every silvery lit
water trough

every sky-part puddle

even all a length of river-ribbon
twinkle-wriggling at bottom
of bottom meadow

every bright shine
water patch but

every especially every

especially framed
drinking trough

spooks

spooks with
spooks with truths
with truths

truths

I am horse
a horse who

saw

her horse-face framed

in a

in a human
in a human place

 

 


Mark Goodwin is fascinated by place, and moving through place, and the continuums of inside-outside & exposure-shelter.  He has published five full-length poetry collections & six chapbooks with various English poetry houses, including Longbarrow Press & Shearsman Books. His next full-length (which includes fiction) –Rock as Gloss– is due out with Longbarrow Press in November 2018. Mark lives with Nikki on a boat in Leicestershire.

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