ILLUMINATED WITH THE LIGHT OF SACRED FIRE
"This is the body I will have to die in" from Corpus Delicti by Peter Cooley

I breath over the picture
a pot of yellow flowers
reflected in polished marble...

Words don't make sense:
guitar, Godzilla, canal boat, valve
radio, front room with armchair ..

Mother you've always been good
at getting a parking space,
balancing eggs, skiing at night...

drawn by a Harley Davidson,
with coffee maker, atmospheric lighting,
horse wearing a black plume...

solar powered and a digital text
that allows relatives to program
in names and date of death...

They're standing over me,
chanting the book of Lamentations.
It'll be okay when brightness falls...

The sheet is white. The world
meanders and seems nervous.
I've posted a letter to God...
 



A SHORT HISTORY OF THE TWENTIES

 
There are departments
for imperfectly packed parcels
money is used as wallpaper
golfing is for kings and emperors

machines locate splinters
children play at weddings
the camera goes in front
pancake day and kissing the priest
 
why wear clothes?
black women driving taxis
a battery of dry-cleaning machines
the airships are nicknamed flying gherkins
 
check you weight
people branded by hatred
after exercise, a good cigarette
but names are abandoned like dances
 
packing yellow daffodils
Leon Trotsky goes walking
met old warriors wearing hats.
The decade astonished later audiences.
 



LEARNING REPETITIVE SONGS

 
Shadows are falling over the grass,
over Borges and a parrot talking
so I get out a list of campfire songs
and my sheet music of eight short preludes.
 
I sit and wait for illusory figures,
say Bob and Elizabeth Pitts
to get into the groove, the spirit of things.
But no one wants to sing, except me.
 
I'll want to praise the world
with pointless anecdotes
and inconsistent revelations
but who's going to hear me?

 
     Rodney Wood 2007