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Cold Turkey

Can’t see no sky
—John Lennon

We regret to announce that your flight has been delayed
by this announcement of regret.  Calendars featuring the anal
passages of today’s cabin crew must be paid
for.  The hot chocolate isn’t slow.  It’s special.
Satirical sonnets on this or any other airline
must go over your heads or under the seat in front
as the risk of becoming bad observational
comedy is high at this festive time.  Friend
me.  Do it now and I’ll sell you a scratch card, and a penny
will go directly to an organisation that dispatches
aid to TINY CHILDREN scratched by scratch cards.  They can’t sell matches
for a very good reason.  ’Tisn’t the season.  For want of smoke or any
snow everything else thaws.  Why am I not surprised?
I close England and think of your eyes.

* * *

Lyric

disturb not her dream
—Robert Burns

Once written, twice I
—inevitable—and once halved one
might as well continue.  Try
setting it to “Sweet Afton”

of a mild evening.  Get thee
into the vehicle!  Witness ye
my dance—I am the lord, said he.
Be stunned by this my chassé.

I put the ass in chassis
when I enter.  You’re the in in winter.
So stick thee to thy lifestyle choices:
hang I at the dead centre,

self-landscape on a concave moor.
Am I the weight of your world?
The mooring-pegs ache at the corners.
It’s by these, once quartered, I’m courted.

* * *

A Savage Breast

And so again the best words in their best order
have all the draw of a rock recorder

solo.  All the impact of jellybeans
fired from slingshots at advancing US Marines.

All the fun of a sawn-off see-saw.
I flaunt a white flag like a white coat: a miso-

gyneticist committed to making things worse.
Second verse more cursed than the first.

I tut and tut and say you look like rain.
I touch a nerve.  You tap a vein.

I probably think this thong is about me.
It absolutely isn’t but it might be.

It absolutely is and that’s what puts me off.
All your love’s in vain.  Why isn’t that enough?

* * *

Sneer Poem

It’s near enough.
You are the only one I love,
and other poems.  New and
Selected
has one wond-
er what the new ones did.
A hoop jump.  A handstand.
Seeing the mess hall in this mass hallelu-

jah makes me want to tell you
you ought to be hospitalised
for your big brown hospital eyes.
Bleach—shit—death.  So little
light do I provide that in the middle
there is no detectable glint.
This is what I meant.