libertine in a heatwave

Atlantean night of baked bricks

he’s jangling like a cowbell  – dulled & alive

spectre-loping in that daddy long legs silhouette rhythm

four inches above cobblestone tributaries

he’s the Mandril, he’s the Exclamation

And he’s the Cheap Prophecy

moving its way past other prophecies’ back fences

tonight’s memories flayed in the light of a deep sea lantern

then hooked as haunches in the cold hold of his skull

leaving his kicking sperms stuck up against the pipes of the city

all of ‘em dying

like darlings in their own Titanic ballroom

under cell-sized top hats,  cheerfully muttering

“well I do believe we’re all at sea now, old chap…”

as death stuns & expands them, in a cataclysm of gin

as he drifts, milk jellyfish-cum-lemur

splashing liquid load of shadow over comic panel bricks

comic book sirens,  distant honking bull seals

to find a mad friend with hot champagne

and a backyard spa of dirty green bongwater

they ‘re venting, voluminous

blasted to fumes in the hot black night

their voices ooze into a loud oil, separating from sweat

there are stables in these lanes which in our lifetimes

have never held horses

but if there were ghost horses

these boys would ride them like roosters out from the grid

to let the sun find them, if it could

on some straw hill, out somewhere between their own dust clouds

and thirst.  I tell them I once sold flowers by the harbour

how the women taught me to add a dash of lemonade to a vase

as I watch their sugar meters drop, the needles tap, I know

I’ll carry some of their memories for them

for as long as I can

in my own cold

bonehard skull


Will Swan


The Bones Say

I never listened to that album, the one

With the clarinet & accordion twisting ribbons into one another

You’re always talking about it

I was watching a game show

The contestant won a new kitchen, the spanking new

Kitchen was the colour of a plaster cast

It stank underneath & they tell me the contestant

Thawed frozen meals in the new kitchen

Including Country Lasagna & Lemon Ocean Catch

& Sunday Traditional Roast which was brought to life

Like a frozen cluster of insects

Roving under the bulb


I never read that paperback, the one you

Left lying around like a dildo, like you

Were trying to tell me something sweet-hot & fattening

I know I was meant to read it but I didn’t

Because I was reading the first few pages of the newspaper

I read about a sporting man who set upon his girlfriend

Those newspaper people presented a photo of her

I could feel the heat of the flash &

I could hear the photographer’s directions

Then I read about a new way to spend money on mobile phones

And then I read some other bit

Not sure what I read next, something

About some other people at a celebrity function

Some girl was wearing an AC/DC t-shirt in the ironic manner

Eleven years after everyone else

She was pulling an ironic ‘rock!’ sign

Like this . . .



Will Swan