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John Wilkinson

Two poems from ‘Saccades’


The universals race, pushing aside presets, the full heart
      gets launched involuntarily,
hold filled with fine skins, cowries, gems which were eyes.
      Raise the new capital & chorus.
Its dizzy shown frontage marble-clad, is a Potemkin wild
            with ghosts, admits nobody:
no report is current but that which shivers the tin islands.

Where disks had jiggered out for counters I spread news
      through the empty boardroom,
breathing on mirror surfaces. A scheme is by such token
      not a person (or vice versa).
A stone is not a stone but a hot hearth capping emptiness
            had squandered their titanium
rib-stuffed vertebrae. Curtains behind them jacket lustre,

in key bunches bear results, indexes & standing in public,
      the compensatory voices hang
are shed in four-decker tape is spirals onto the shiny rug.
      They burn there, their secretary
wipes the tape between her ears & fingers Shall this fizzy
            die-for-it discriminate
in the medium term, dredge one message for its director?

Non-stock voices shake aspirin boughs, resentful overlap
      & flapping coats will see bulk.
How faulty was their take-up (both ways) would cover it;
      a full course of stone is laid
against absconsion held to cost. Full-pelt a bracelet flexes
            the nervous cord, so help you
part implies; stones rattle surrogate, Assisted Conception.

‘Open’ is their gauge who would master the presentation
      skates dazzling surfaces.
A marble headboard blinks over a bed of algedonic gravel.
      Fire-ants raise like scabies
rights of the so-signed in their runes, a long flame yearns
            to skitter from its funerary,
a will-o’-the-wisp dancing over the marshes behind sings.

The Blink of an Eye

Click or snap or so the rifle seeding on all fronts its hydra
      mayhem over drear, spitting smoke
from its puckered bay, fomenting what it had needs must,
      the sun streams still, particles
will irritate a voided chamber: But sun can never compile
            its expression & will fizzle out.
White fingers carry this less glimmer & snap sorrily fault.

The indulged fault by its lower quay could uplift distress.
      A high fault locates & kissing dark
resigned the self-slipped skull to treat its difference, sum:
      skin of a rapt servility
swelled so taut anticipates one round can pierce, burn or
            burst soul recoil on through,
derogates to watch, trembling admires a mensual routine,

bolts out universally to circle & pin down with fiery seed.
      The sun suggests there are worked,
gone terrifying reasons underlay such incandescent trace
      outlives the mouth. One single shot
or sheaf had set its more conniving course, one small dab
            post-hoc would shrink
to a mascle sported like a pendant in the eye, a set comma

blinks brushed with webs to contain the reaction, caustic
      threads of spit were a cream’s horn.
Here a spice engobbed disports a breath sheathed within
      & invites one sidelong foil.
Nutmeg bloats the mace, slicks into the rasp o imperious
            mentor kneaded out of shreds
beats within its col of salt, a reef below this burning floor

throws rubbery stalks like a devil lobs their tracer-shells,
      finding work for the hard saps
wrung & rubbed & budded whenever a tear might swell
      offshoots out from it, ruining
its particulate world was its band never brought to proof,
            never was previously disturbed.
Save where the kiss is thickening fiery on a cocked finger.

John Wilkinson

John Wilkinson’s collection Flung Clear, Poems in six books was published by Parataxis in 1994. Since then a number of pamphlets has appeared:
Torn Off a Strip (Equipage 1994), Chalone (Prest Roots 1994) and Sarn Helen (Equipage 1997). Equipage will publish Reverses late in 1998. Poems may found in the Iain Sinclair edited anthology Conductors of Chaos (Picador 1996).

These two poems are from the sequence ‘Saccades’, to be published in 2000 by Alfred David Editions, London.

John Wilkinson is Mental Health Commissioner with East London and The City Health Authority.

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